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.* * jr. • •' 





Of 9ome of the bemficial effeas already produced 



Conaderaiions on the important advantages of which they ar^ 
likely to be productive to Society at large ; 





SCHOOLS, &;c. 


t ilember of the Committee of the Bristol iSooiety for Instnietliig' 
I the Adult Poor to read the Hely Scriptures. 




MOV. ?i tax 


7HE writer of the following sbeets does not flatter himself 
with any expeetation of leraiit'ying the admirers of fine compo« 
Mon ; the display of supertor talents would not have been hll 
object) had he possessed them ; neither would the narration of 
simple faot» and circumstances, relative to the establishment of 
schools, the modes of education, or the effects already produced, 
afford a source favourable for yielding much entertainment i% 
those who are like^ to peruse this* little work. To give such 
information as may prove idteresting and u:;eful to those who 
may be disposed to promote the education of adults, has been 
the sole object the Author has kept in view, threngh the whole 
of the present undertaking^^ 

The reader will ^^tttrtless observe, in the perusal, some pecu- 
liarities of expression : such as the numerical names of the 
iU)Qths, and days of the week ; as well as the omission of cer- 
tain titles, usually affixed to the names of ecclesiastical persons, 
Und some of other descriptions ; these he will candidly consid- 
er resulting from the well-known senthnents and customs of the 
society of Friends, to which the writer belongs. 

The subscribers to this Narrative were given to ei^pect that 
it would have been laid before the public by the coinmencement 
of the present year ; but the progress of the Auther han been 
arrested by a succession of unforeseen circumstances, principally 
arising from the delay of persons in distant places, on whom he 
was dependent for information respecting certain parts of the 
publication; this be hopes, will not be materially detrimental 
to the cause he ardently wishes to promote 

Previously to any part of this History's going to the press, 
the Author did not calculate upon its extending beyond sixty or 
Seventy pages ; under that idea, he fixed the price at two shil- 


lings ; but the accession of new matter has so increased its riz4 
and expense, that he considers himself justified in advancing it 
to two shillings and sixpence; whilst he holds himself bound to 
fulfil his engagement to the subscribers, by guppfyiog them upoH 
the terms advertised. 

Agreeably to what was intimated in the Prospectus, the 
whole of the clear profits arising from this publication, are t* 
be applied to the promotion of education amongst the poor. 

It was originally intended hot to print more than one thou- 
sand copies ; but the Author has been induced, by the persua- 
sions of his friends, and the unexpected influx of suliscriptions,: 
to extend the edition io two thousand, the far greater part of 
which had been subscribed for before the priming was complet- 
ed ; for which the Author takes this opportunity of publickly 
expressing his grateful acknowledgment^* 

T. Pa 

James^'Square, Bristol^ 3d Mo. 5thy 1814. 


Adult Schools^ ^c. 

BENEVOLENT individuals, of preceding gene- 
rations^ have exerted thentselves for the education of 
youth; but that these exertions hive been inefficient 
or too limited, is proved by the great proportion of 
the labouring poor, arrived to years of maturity, who 
have suffered, and are still suffering inexpressible loss, 
in respect to their mental concerns, from the lamenta- 
ble ignorance which still prevails amongst them. To 
a consciousness of this, the educated part of society 
have been so long famili irized, that, till of late years, 
even those who felt and cherishi d a friendly interest lo 
their present and future happiness, have never sought 
the means of their deliverance from the shades of dark- 
oess in which they have been immured from childhood 
to their latest periods. Lamentably, indeed, did our 
forefathers neglect this important duty towards their 
indigent fellow-creatures ; but expressions of regret 
will be unavailing. To discover a remedy for this great 
evil, has fallen to the lot of certain individuals, the ap- 
plication of whose talents and industry merits an hon- 
ourable record in the history of the country, for the 
benefit of which they have been employed in removing 
from the public mind a long fixed, but erroneous opio. 
lOD, that persons of mature age were not capable of 


receiving infitrucMon io the kaowled|;e of letters, or that 
they could uot devote a sufficient portion of their time 
to acquire a qualification to read. The removal of this 
injurious apprehension, is unquestionably of high im- 
portance, not only to the poor, but to society at large. 
Some individuals of mature age, we ai*e well aware, 
have been, from time immemorial, introduced into 
schools established for the education of children ; and 
have acquired that portion of ^owledgQ which has 
been essentially serviceable to them through the re- 
Biainder of life. A. few years since, it would have been 
deemed a whimsical and chime ri cat project to have 
collected a school of persons from twenty to eighty 
years- of age, under the expectation of being able to 
teach them to read ; and the man who should have un- 
dertaken to effect Uiis .olnect, would have subjected 
himself to the ridicule of his neighbours ; but happy 
will it be for tens .of thousands, I trust I may say, that 
there are m^n whose benevolence has induced them 
to disregard the sneers of the scornful and incredulous, 
and make that experiment which has been crowned 
with success far exceeding their moat sanguine expecta- 
tions, and opened a most cheering prospect to our view« 
in the animating contemplation of th.e moral and reli* 
gious benefits capable of resulting irotp it. 

It has been generally believed, that the first schools 
for the education of adults exclusively, were opened in 
Bristol ; and that not without reason, as it was perfectly 
unknown to the Founder of the Bristol Schools, that 
such had existed el^where. This, indeed, hasl)een the 
generally .received opinion for two years past 4 but we 
must now yield the palm lo Cambrian philanthropy. 
From information recently received from very respect- 
able authority, it appears that the first Adult Schools, 
.^frere established in North Wales. 

In ^\leUer from B. Morgans, Vicar of Trelech, near 
Monmouth, dated March 14, 1754, is the following certi- 
iUsate :— ^« This is to certify, that I. T. kept a Welsh Cha- 
pdt> School, in my parish, for .three months past, with great 

success. The scholairs in aH were about one hundred; 
several of them, before the expiration of the quarter, 
•could spell and read pretty well ; though they knew not 
the letters before. In a short time after the school was 
opened, I went to visit it, and was agreeably surprised 
to see there an old man, seventy-one years of age, with 
five other people far advanced in years, who came there 
with their little children to be taught to read the word 
of God. Some of them were beginning their A, B, C ; 
others could read a little. I examined the scholars 
several times. Some of their parents, when we had 
done, came to me with tears in their eyes, deeply cod> 
cerned for their own ^ooraoce, and with visible joy 
for the improvement of their little children. They 
said, their children used to ask them questions, when 
ihey came from school, which they could not answer 
till their children taught thenu'' 

It is proved, that the first school exclusively for the 
instruction of adults, was opened in North Wales, by the 
4)enevoleiit efibrts of Thomas Charles, A. B. Episcopal 
Minister of Bala, Merionethshire ; this commenced *^ ia 
the summer of 1811." — He observes, " We had no parti- 
cular school for their instruction exclusively till then, 
though many attended the Sunday Schools with the 
.children, in different parts oif the country previous to that 
time. What induced me first to think of establishing such 
an Institution, was the aversion I found in the adults to 
associate with the children in their schools."*— This truly 
philanthropic man, by way of experiment, established 
one exclusively for adults; and he says, " the first at- 
tempt succeeded wonderfully, and far beyond my most 
sanguine expectation, and still continues in a prosperous 
«tate. The report of the success of this school soon 
rspread over the country, and, in many places, the illite- 
rate adults began io call for instruetian. In one county, 
after a public address had been delivered to there on 
that subject, the adult poor, even the aged, flocked to 
the Sunday Schools in crowds ; and the shopkeepers 
could not immediately supply them with an adequate 

^ number of spectacles. Our schools, in geQeral^ wtt 

kept in our chapels ; id some districts, inhere theT« are 
DO chapels, farmers, io the summer-time, lead their 
barns. The adults and childien are sometimes io the 
same room, but placed in different parts of it. When 
their attention is gaiued and fixed, they soon learn ; 
' their age makes no great difference, if they are able, bj 
the help of glasses, to see the letters. As the adui&i 
have no time to lose, we endeavour, before they caa 
read, to instruct them without delay in the first prin- 
ciples of Christianity. We select a short portion of 
Scripture, comprisio^, in plain terms, the leading doc- 
trines, and repeat them to the leamears till they caa 
retain them in their memories ; and which they are to 
repeat the next time ,we meet" 

^' It is impossible for me, at present, to ascertain the 
number of adults in the schools ; in many districts, they 
all attend ; and the beneficial efiects of them are everx 
where observed."* 

« It was about the year 1730, that the Circulating 
Schoolsf commenced in Wales The plan originated 
with a clergyman (the Rev. Griffith Jones, of Llao* 
dovery, Carmarthenshire,^ in a poor country congrega^ 
tion, with no other fund to defray the expense than 
that which could be spared out of the charitable con- 
tributions of the people in his own parish. This money 
was expended first in supporting one, and in a little 
time afterwards, two schools. After this, assistance 
was received fjom various quarters, particularly from 
the society (in London) for promoting Christian Knowl^ 
edge ; and, in the course oi seven years, the number 
of schools had increased to thirty-seven. The same 
clergyman continued to superintend the schools till his 
death, in 1 761 ; but before that event, the schoob had 
increased to the amazing number of two hundred and 

* These extracts are from a letter of l\ Chcurles to l>r. Pole, 
aated Jamiar> 4tb, 1814. 
t These were schools for Cluldren. 

eighteen, which, in the course of a single year, had bcei 
the means of instructing nearlj ten thousand persons to 
read the Scriptures in tSeir native tongue." 

" Before these Circulatirig Welsh Schools com- 
menced, English Chnrlty ' Schools had been tried in 
Wales : but all that the children coul«l do in three, ; 
foiur, or five years, (though few could stay so long,) 
amounted, in general, to no more than their being able 
to read, very imperfectly, some easy.partsof the Biblei 
without knowing the Welsh of it. Welsh Bibles had 
also been circulated among them. Upon one occasion, 
in North Wales, when &e Circulating School began, 
the teacher was surprised when the children brought 
-excellent new Bibles with them. These had been re- 
ceived from some charitable persons, by their grand- 
fathers. They were, however, unable to usethfim; 
nor did the Bibles see the light till these, their grand- 
children, were happily taught to read them." 

^' At these Circulating Schools, so anxious were the 
.people to learn their own ancient language, that per- 
sons of all age9 attended^ from six years of age to above 
seventy. In several places, indeed, the older people 
formed about two-thirds of the number in attendance* 
Persons above sixty, attended every day ; and ofteu 
lamented, nay, even wept, that they had not learned for- 
ty or fifty year sooner. JTot unfrequently the children 
actually taught their parents ; and sometimes the par- 
ents and children of one family resorted to the same 
Circulating School, during its short continuance in a 
district; while various individuals, who, from great 
age, were obliged to wear spectacles, seized the oppor- 
tunity, and learned to read the Scriptures in Welsh, at 
that advanced period of life." 

** The number of persons taught by this cheap and 
expeditious method, was also very remarkable. By an 
abstract at the end of these vohimes, it appears, that in 
the course of twenty-four years only, viz. from 1 737 to 
1 760 inclusive, there were instructed in reading tfie, 


Welsh Bible, no leu than one hundred and fiflj tiiou- 
faod two hundred and twelTe persons.'** 

From the preceding information, it appears, that th^ 
laurel of honour belongs to Thomas Charles, as the 
first establisher and father of Adult Schools. But the 
aian who is equally entitled to share the praise of hi« 
country, will appear, in the subsequent pages of thii 
History, as having established the first schools for the 
same purpose in England, without the least previc^us 
knowledge of what had been done in the Principality 
pf Wales; and that too without the advantages natu- 
rally resulting to a clerg^^roan, from his elevated sta- 
tion, influence, and superior education. They had 
equally to encounter, the rooted prejudices which so 
generally possessed the public mind — ^that the aged 
could not be instructed ; and these two philanthropists 
vere alike successful in removing this bar of obstruc- 
tion, and evincing to the observing multitude, Ui«l Hie 
field was open to their cultivation ; into which the t)e- 
fkvolent pressed forward with avidity, and joined hand 
to hand in this new work of charity and love. 

In the city of Bristol, the design has been embraced 
with cordiality, and patronized by the pious of various 
denominations. Here, the eleetric spark of ChristiaD 
benevolence kindling into a flame, hatli spread on eveiy 
aide : may it difiUse its glowing brightness, till every 
dark comer of the land be irradiated with its efiUlgence. . 
Many persons are now coming forward, in various parts 
of the kingdom, kindly disposed to take a^k^rest in 
whatever may tend to the domestic, tbe^oral; and re- 
ligious improvement of their indi^efirlellow-CTeatures. 

Many strangers, when vi^irffig Bristol, have felt a 
desire to see these school^either from motives of cu- 
riosity, to gain information of the principles on which 
they are conducted, or to observe the progress made 
^% the learners. But in passing cursorily from school 

* Ihe iiist Annual Report of the Society for the support of 
the Ciaelie Schools in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. 


to sehool, fmty conversing with those wbo conduct 
them tfai^r^ it is not easy for imcii to obtain the infor- 
mation they desire. Many too, who have no opportuni- 
ty of personally visiting them, have expressed a wish of 
being acquainted with more particulars than were gen- 
erally known. These circumstances have induced th^ 
irriter of these pages to devote a few evenings^ to la^ 
^fore the public a brief Narrative of the Origin and 
iProgress of this highly useful utidataking ; hoping it 
may be one means of exciting an energy in the minds 
^f many who have not yet had their attention turned 
to the subject ; or who may hsive anUcipated, with the 
i^reva^ing di3cou[ragement, difficulties that exist much 
more in imagination than in reality ; and which, could 
tiiey be prevailed upon to make the experiment, bf 
^tablishing one school, would doubtless soon diminish. 

The object of tlie founders of these Institutions^ 
^ well as of others who have ardently embraced the 
pmmusBg design, is calculated, by its importance and 
extent, to awaken and caU into action the energies d 
tvei^ Christian and every patriot, who has it lo hhi 
power to promote so great and so good a work, either 
by bis pecuuiftiy contributions or personal services; f 
hope there are tew who possess the 'ability, that will 
not be found to possess the will, to exert their influence 
in some way suited to their stations and capacities, iQ. 
forwarding a work so replete with benefit to mankind, 
and thereby partroipating in the blessings which will 
nncipiestionably descend upon the heads of all who con- 
•cientiously end^ivour to promote the glory of God, 
and the good of their felloW-men. This is an employi- 
stent worthy of a rati<mal being, and consistent with 
the gtttcious dengns of an all-wise Creator, to whom 
W0 are isdivldually accountable for the right occupa- 
tion of the talents^ whether few or many, with which 
be has entsmsted U8» 

To give a clear acemmt of the cbnmiencement of 
these schools in England, it seems necessary to go at 
for \mlA as the year 1B04 ; when, to the credit of the 
Biitish nation, was fouaded, m London, that great and 


Qoble InstitatioQ, the British and Foreigir Bible Societj; 
for the digtributioD of the Holy Sciiptures, without 
note or comment, amongst the poor of this, as well as 
the remotest empires of the world ; the most distant 
regions of ignorance and superstition, where the 
Christian religion had never shed its celestial radiance^ 
or the doctrines of the ever glorious Gospel of the 
blessed Redeemer been promulgated. Subsequently to 
the formation of this Society, which consisted of indi- 
viduals of all religious denominations who were dis- 
posed to unite in this laudable undertaking, there were 
established, in many counties and cities. Auxiliary 
Societies, to carry more completely into effect the great 
and beneficial purposes of the parent Institution. One 
of these was formed in Bristol ; and as the minds of its 
members were now employed in devising the best 
means of discovering those individuals amongst the 
poor, who were not in possession of the sacred Scrip? 
tures, in order to supp^ them, it was found refj^uisit^ 
to establish a subordinate Institution, under the patron-, 
age of the Auxiliary Society's Committee, which was 
called the Bristol Bible^ Association, chiefly composed 
of serious and well-inclined young men ^ whose Com- 
mittee divided, the city audits environs into fifteen 
districts, and appointed Sub-committees, whose business 
it became to explore the streets, the lanes, and the 
courts — to. enter the habitations of the. poor, the cot- 
tages of misery, and. the chambers of. wretchedness. 
Amongst the unnumbered objects who excited their 
sympathy and . Christian commiseration, they met with 
many who could not read the Bible. 

On the 13th of the 2nd Mo. (February)^ 18 J12, 
prior: to. the existence of the Bible Association, the 
Bristol Aitxiliai^ Bible Society held their second anni- 
versary meeting at the, Guild-Hall ; a number of in- 
teresting letters were rea*! from its correspondents : 
one. of .them (from Keynsham,) which gave a list of 
persons who did not possess the Holy Scriptures, con-^ 
tained the following sentence—" We have beea ne- 


cessarily <5bliged to omit a great uumber of poor uiha* 
bitants who could not read, and are therefore not likely 
to be benefited by the possession of the Bible." Thi« 
attracted the attention and awakened the commiseratioa 
of William Smith, who attended the meeting, and whom 
name must necessarily stand prominent in the future 
part of this Narrative : his mind dwelt continuallj ou the 
deplorable situation of those who, through their inability 
to read the sacred records, were deprived of this great 
Christian privilege. — On the 1 7th, a poor man re.que8ted 
Smith to procure him a Bible ; and be being for some 
time at a loss to know of whom he could obtain one^ 
determined, on the following day, to apply to Stephen 
Prust (a very respectable merchant in this city, and 
a member of the Auxiliary Bible Society's Committee,) 
who humanely gave him a Bible. This business bein^ 
effected, W. Smith embraced the present favourable 
opportunity of disburdening his mind to a man who was 
alive to the claims of piety and poverty, and who has^ 
from that hour, been the steady friend of W. Smith lA 
his subsequent exertions and labours in this cause. It 
wad at this time, and to this friend of humanity and 
religion, he first opened his heart upon the suli^ct of 
instructing the adult poor to read the Holy Scriptures^ 
and asked his opinion whether it would be posldble tm 
teach them ; he was answered in the affirmative, that it 
was not only possible, but probable ; ami recommended 
to make the trial upon a small scale : at the same time 
Si Prust observed to him, that if he succeeded, his name 
would be enrolled amongst the benefactors of mankinds 
Honourable as such an enrolment might be, we have 
i«ason to believe that his mind was actuated by a sub* 
limer motive : he was not a votary of fame — he thirsted 
not for human approbation or applause ; his exertiom 
sprang from a disinterested desire that the footsteps of 
those who were the objects of his pious commiseration 
and solicitude, might be directed to the paths of virtue^ 
ai!Ml preserved in the way of salvation* 


. Stephen Pnist, the sincere friend of '*Smith, desirous 
of encou raging an iindertakiog so beneficial to the poor, 
kiudlj promised that be should not want for assistance, 
as the Auxiliary Bible Society would aid his endeav- 
ours by donations of the Scriptures for the use of the 
schools. The heart of Smith was now too full to admit 
of procrastination ; he lost no time ; he entered the very 
next day on this new field of labour, with uncommon 
industry and zeal. He selected two friends from among 
bis bumble associates, who accompanied him to wliat 
is called the Out-parish of St. Philip and Jacob, a large 
proportion of which is inhabited by the poorest classes: 
tliis parish they trave)*sed, to take down the names of 
those who were willing to subscribe small weekly sums 
for purchasing the Scriptures, as recommended by the 
parent Society in liondon, in preference to gratuitous 
distribution, so that they might obtain them at very 
reduced prices. Many of these, to whom the applica- 
tion was made, observed — " 1 should be very gliid'tD 
Jiave a Bible ; but it will be of no use to me — I cannot 
read.*^ — This atforded Smith an opportunity of asking 
them whether they would like to learn to read, if a 
school should be opened ? IVIost, or all, embraced the 
piTer, with expressions of pleasure ; their names were 
inunediately taken down, md the first man entered on 
^le list of learnei-s was William Wood, aged sixty -three ; 
the first woman, Jane Burrace, aged forty. Two 
rooms, free of expense, were sought for and obtained 
the same evening ; after which, two persons, who had 
been formerly employed in teaching in charity schools 
for children, were applied to, who readily undertook to 
conduct the two intended - schools—one for men, and 
the other for women. William Smith still laboured 
binder some embarrassment respecting his further pro- 
eedure, in procuring books for the use of tlie scholars r 
after deliberating some time on this point, he applied to 
Captain John Richards, of Kingsdown, for the loan of 
a few, with which to commence the Adult Schools ; the 
Captain furnished them cheerfully, and spoke encour- 


a^Dglf <^ the UDdertakio^. Notice was fkow ghrea 
amoQgst the poor of the before-^meotiooed pariA» that 
it was mteoded to open the proposed schools wx the 
eighth of the ensuing mouth, onlj oioeteen days firom 
the time Smith ifirst commuuicated his mind on the Bub- 
ject to Stephen Pnist. They were opened at the dme 
fixed, eleven men and ten women being admitted on 
the d^y of commencement; the numl^rs increasing 
every week, until the room^ were filled. The learners 
soon evinced not only a desire, but a capability of 
learning ; their progress was encouraging to themselves 
and to the teachers; their conduct was orderly and 
becoming; their personal cleanliness beyond whact 
might have been expected of people in very humble 
stations in life ; they likewise demonstrated no smalt 
share of gratitude for the friendly and benevolent exer- 
tions made for their benefit ; and that too by indivi- 
duals, to whom they could not have looked up with a 
hope of their becoming the benefactors of the po(Hr« 
The successful exertions of William Smith have proved 
him to be a well-wisher to his country, and to man* 
kind at large ; and strikingly evince to us, that neither 
an humble station in life, nor the want of an extende4 
education, precludes the sincere Chrbtian from impor- 
tant usefulness to his fellow-creatures. This estimable 
man, who, through Divine Providetice, has been made 
so great a blessing to the indigent in society, occupier 
a rank in life no higher than that of a door-keeper of a 
dissenting chapel in this city, for a salary of eighteen 
shillings per week ; out of which he pays three shil- 
lings, to have a part of his work done by another per- 
son, for the purpose of setting himself more at liberty 
to perform the duties dictated by that Chrisian philan- 
thropy which animates his heart, and guides his foot« 
steps to the haunts of sorrow, the abodes of sickness and 
of want. This is the person n>ho collected the learners^ 
engaged the teachers, and opened the two first scluwU*^ 
in England for instructing adults exclusively, in b&r- 
roTved roems^ and with borrowed books. The suceess 

. 16 

itttendiDg thits new undertaking was, unquestionably, 
liaost gratifying to the mind of Smith, and of those 
humble individuals whom he enlisted in the service ; 
this encouraged him to look out for other apartments 
in the same neighbourhood, for the reception and in- 
struction of those who were daily coming forward with 
solicitations to be admitted as learners ; as the desire 
of learning to read the Scriptures was now spreading 
from street to street, and from parish to parish. Thus 
Commenced the Schools for Adults in Bristol, in the 
benevolent exertions of a poor, humble, and almost un- 
lettered individual, whose example soon excited siini- , 
hir feelings of Christian philanthropy in the minds of 
many others, disposed to patronize a design that affords 
a bright prospect of advantage to the poor, as well as 
to the moral, political, and religious state of the com- 
munity at large ; and which promises, under the di- 
rection of the Supreme Controller of events, to become 
a very important means of inculcating the great truths 
of Christianity amongst those classes of our fellow-crea« 
tores, who have been hitherto unhappily neglected, and 
suffered to remain in a state of lamentable degradation 
aad moral turpitude. 

The morning of prosperity now dawned upon the ef- 
foTts of that useful man, whom we cannot but hold 
in esteem, and consider as the Founder of Adult % 
Schools in England;* whose heart, we can have no 
doubt, did then and still does glow with the sincerest ' 
gratitude to the great and gracious Author of his Be- 
ing, and of those benefits he has been made the instnimeot 
of conferring upon so many thousands of the poor, as, 
we trust, will ultimately be partakers of the advantages 
of these judicious schemes — advantages relative to the 
life that now is, but more especially to that which is to 

* William Smith aUo founded the fiwt of thosci called * The 
Hethodist Sunday Schools/* in the city of Bristol and its neigh- 
bourhood, in the year 1804; which are at this time (1814) af- 
k>rding education to 2^8 childi*en, of both t^exefs. 


in the eMTse of a few weeis after the entribtUi- 
meot of the t vo first schools, a few friends to the cause 
of religion, of humaQitj, and of the poor, met Wiliiaia 
Smith, and formed themselves into a Society, under 
thetitleof" An Institution for instrvctino Advlt 
Persons to read the Holy Scriptures;" and, iu 
order to extend their usefulness, entered into a sul^ 
^cription, amounting to 14Z. 10^. 6i/. which was contrl« 
buted by thirty-two persons* They also resolved up- 
on twelve Rules for Uie future regulation of the So« 
ciety and of the Schools. These Rules they printed, 
to give publicity to their undertaking. — And to interest 
the feelings of their fellow-citizens, and induce them to 
step forward in support of this infant Institution, they 
prefixed to this pamphlet some introductory remarks^ 
calculated to make a strong impression on the minds of 
the benevolent ; a number of whom entered into their 
views, and lent their friendly assistance. At the time 
of this publication, they inform us, that there were 
>' above eighty adult persons learning to read, imder 
the direction of six conductors, and thirty teachers.'* 
The motto given in the title-page of this little publica- 
tion, was the expression of David — " Thy Word is a 
lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." 

It appears that the first donation for the encourage- 
ment and support of this laudable undertaking, was a 
present of books from Captain John Richards, before* 
mentioned, subsequently to the lending of the books^ 
which has been already noticed ; this was previous to 
any society being formed ; whilst Smith, aided by a 
few associates, was industriously exerting himself for 
the settlement of a few of the first schools. He now 
applied to a minister in the Methodist Society, who 
kindly came forward to befriend the poor, rend^«d im- 
portant services in forming this new Sedety, and was 
the author of the Preliminary Address, published iritli 
the Rules ; to which were subjoined tlie names of tht 
officers and subscribers. 

William Smith did not himself undertake to eod- 


4n^t>' eiliMr ofrr At schools, or to fili ^e o€li^ 6t a ' 
teacfaep/; he ^vkm actirefy and lOeessaDUj eiiiplo>ed 
during alsiost ereryx heat he could be spaied from the 
duties of that humble statist on which he depended 
for a maioteaance ; he.>exerted everj effort to enlist the 
mo^ suitable persons he could take the liberty of ap- 
plying to^ kk order to bring them forward as conduc- 
tors or teachers ; and procured the use of rooms for the 
reception of fresh applicants, as well as others, whom 
he sought out, desirous.of the instruction these humble 
semioapes offered them ; so that by his great and un- 
wearied exertions, with the help his few acquaintances 
afforded him, within the space of about thiiteen months 
from the commencement, there were nine schools open* 
ed for men, and the same number for women ; during 
which time three hundred men, and three hundred and 
^me women were admitted. Two hundred and twenty* 
two. men, and two hundred and thirty-one wcmien lirere 
under education at the time of the Society's publishing 
their First Annual Report, dated April 19,1813, in-- 
cladkig a period of thirteen months and eleven days. 
Before this time the Society was considerably increased; 
and Ministers, as well as others, of almost every de- 
nomination of Christiains in this city, cordially united^ 
and have unanimously and successftilly laboured to ex- 
tend the scale of its operations for the present and fu» 
tare benefit of- their poor, ignorant, and neglected feU 

The efforts of this Society having been attended with 
considerable success, in respect to the progress made 
by the leanM^rs, as well as, in many instances, in the 
evident improvement of their moral character, afforded 
no small degree of encouragement to those who had 
been employed in this new field of labour, and to the 
Qumeroas visitors who occasionally came into the 
achools, either out of curiosity, or to gain the requisite 
information as to their plans of proceeding, for the pur- 
pose of establishing similar Institutions in other parts of 

la tbe.4& M^AlIi <AfNPil,> 1B13,IciaiawdtM9S0.. 
deCy, as a M<t&ber of the Cominittee^ at the request oS 
some of its actiye ineBibcrsi la the course^of attend* 
IHg Its raeetiogs, I had ao (Opportunity of hearing the 
relation, not only of the general success of the under* 
taking} but of a considerable number of individual casea 
of extraordinary aptitude, even in persons far advanced 
ki.age, in receivisg^ edupation, aa, w^U ps of the evident 
improvement in the moral character of some of these ; 
nrhi^h soon excited in my ra^ind no small degree of* in* 
terest in the prosperity of this Society, and a wish to 
contribute my mite to promote it, by whatever means 
I conceived to come within the compass of my humble 
abilities. Amongst other exertions I endeavoured to 
make for the benefit of the general cause, I drew up 
and presented to the Committee an Address, with a 
view of submitting it to their judgment whether, if 
printed and dispersed in this city, as well as distant 
parts of the country^ it was calcuVated to promote the 
great object of this benevolent Association. The Ad^ 
dress being read, the Committee were pleased to ex- 
press their approbation of it; it was then resolved, 
**^That a. private Committee be appointed to consider 
and determine upon the best means of circulating Dr; 
Pole^s Address, so that it may combine the advantage of 
benefiting this Instrtudon, with the most extensive cir- 
culation and usefulness : and that the said Committee* 
do consist of the following persons — Rev. Joseph En- 
twisle, Mr. Stephen Pnist, Mr. James Davis, Rev. 
William Wait, Rev. Michael Maurice, Rev. Thoma» 

Roberts, Rev. William Day, Rev^ Kelk, and Mr.- 

Benjamin Donne, who shall meet for that purpose on 
Mondav evening next, the Slst inst." — One thousand 
copies of the Address were, by order of the Committee, 
and at their expense, printed off, and distributed gra- 
tuitously to the subscribers and others ; many of which 
were sent about the kingdom, and, from subsequent in- 
formation, this little production appears to have excited 
« considerable degree of zeal amongst the well-dbposed 

ID man^r other plftces, whete Adult Schools an nov 

established ; aud in some, the subject is at this time oc- 
cupying their deliberatioa. This little publicatioQ was 

An Address to the Committee of the Bristol 
Society Jor teaching the Adult Poor to 
read the Holy Scriptures, 

WHEN X was solicited to become a Member of the 
Committee of this useful and very important lostitu- 
tiun, I gave my coosent with considerable reluctance : I 
was feariiil that my professional and other engagements 
would not allow me a sufficient portion of time to dis* 
charge, with propriety, the duties of such a station. 
I entertained, also, a strong apprehension of being de- 
ficient in the requisite qualificaticms for promoting tiie 
great and important objects for which the Society for 
Educating Adults has been established. I was, how- 
ever, after some deliberation, encouraged to hope that I 
might acquire information and improvement, by asso- 
ciating with men of talents superior to my own. I 
considered that this Committee should be composed of 
persons qualified to advise and regulate the various 
movements of all the subordinate officers; and to sug- 
gest the most probable means of insuring the accom- 
plishment of the important ends, which have called 
forth tlie general exertions of so many of our fellow- 
citizens. With these views, it seems just to remark* 
that no man should become a member of such a Com- 
mittee in a torpid and paralyzed state of mind, or to be 
merely an idle spectator of other men's actions. 

Since I have bad an opportunity of attending two or 
three of the meetings of the Committee, I have both 
seen aud heard enough to rouse even au apathized mind 


t<> a lively sensibility, and piouR lamentation for the sit5- 
uation of thousands of the labouring poor, and their i-i- 
sing offspring ; who have hitherto ber n deprived of tlie 
inestimable privilege of reading for themselves the sa- 
tred volume of divine and soul-interesting tmths, and 
learning tlie principles and precepts of the Christian re- 
ligion, which they profess to beheve. We are now cal- 
led upon to become ioBtrumental in opening the windows 
to admit celestial light into the habitations of darkness 
and ignorance ; that those who sit in the valley of the 
shadow of d€ath may be brought to the saving know- 
ledge of the Lord, to *' sing forth the honour of his name, 
and make his praise^ glorious.'' 

To teach the unlearned poor, who have arrived at 
mature yea]», and to qualify them to peruse the sacred 
records, is the great^-the laudable object which has so 
signally excited our attention. Who that is impressed 
with a due seose of Its importance^ who tliat contem- 
plates its effects en posteriitf, can refuse his assistance 
to such an undertaking ? — Who ought not to lead his 
aid to dig the trenches, through which are to flow the 
streams of divine knowledge to the ignorant — consola* 
Uon to the afflicted — strength to the weak — warnings to 
the licentious-*h(^e to the desponding — in short, the 
glad tidings of ^eat joy to a fallen and degenerate 
world ? 

For our encouragement, let us remember the words 
of the afflicted servant of God, " Blessed is he that 
«onsidereth the poor, the Lord will deliver him in tlie 
time of trouble ; the Lord will preserve him and keep 
him alive, and he shall be blessed on the earth.'' To 
which may be subjoined the warning of the Psalmist, 
** Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he 
shall also cry himself, but shall not be heard." 

" We may consider this and the Bible Society, as 
one body, fwmi their mutual dependence : ' The head 
cannot say to the hand, I have no need of thee.' Who 
is ignorant that to distribute Bibles to persons unable 
to read, is like putting instruments into the hands of 


crfpples, irho have no power to use them ? It must there- 
fore be evideut, that the prl^sent lamentable condition of 
the poor claims our immediate and most sedulous ex* 
ertions ; if we would r^der the Bible subservient to the 
glorious purpose for which it was intended — ^to make 
known the means of salvation to all ranks of our fellow 
creatures, and to guide the footsteps of rebellious oian 
through this vale of tears to the eternal Paradise of 

" If we are disposed to risit the h|imble dwellings 
of the labouring classes in this city, and tlie cottages in 
itb suburbs, we shall find abundant encouragement to 
apply the language of the Apostle James, ^ Hath not 
God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith and 
heirs of the kingdom, which he hath promised to them 
tliat love him ?' And is it not of high importance to 
every true believer, to partake of the ble^ssing promised 
to him that considereth the poor.? Surely, to diffuse 
hope and joy, thanksgiving aud the voice of melody, to 
the cottages of sorrow — to the chambers of wretched- 
ness, is an employment worthy of a mind devoted to 
God, and anxious to follow the example of our divine 
Lord and Master. We are required also to learn of 
Him, who was meek and lowly of heaxt, that we mhj 
enter into, aad for ever enjoy, tiiat rest which is pre- 
pared for the people of God.'' 

•' When we take a view of the extended energies 
so admirably exerted to establish and support an urn* 
versal system of education, and also for the distributioa 
of the Holy Scriptures to the remotest regions of igno- 
rance and superstition, it will not be difficult to observe 
two prominent circumstances, which strongly persuade 
us that the hand of the Almighty has given existence 
to both these great and noble Institutions — Institutions 
pregnant with incalculable advantages to civil and re- 
ligious society. I here allude to the plan of general 
education preceding, by seme years, that for distributing 
Uie sacred Scriptures — in which we trace the hand of 
4ufiuite Wisdom ; because the former of the#e was not 


undertfilEen in contemplatioD of the latter / nor were 
the purpt«cs of Divine- GogidDeBS roauifested, until he 
had given esnstence. to them both. The second cir- 
cufflstance is what must have excited the astonishment 
of this, and^ perhaps I may saj, •of surrounding nations: 
diat these Institutions have jQourished, bejond all ex- 
ample, in times of the greatest pecuniary embarrass- 
ment. The purses of Princes and Nobles have beea 
liberally opeoed — their muniftcence has flowed in co« 
pious streams for the support of these two great under- 
takings — whilst even children and persons in the hum- 
bler walks of life, have made their sacrifices with 
cheerfulness, and contributed their mites toward the 
distribution of the Holy Scriptures. Nay, they have 
esteemed it a privilege to be allowed to put their feeble 
bands to so great and good a woi'k. May we not then 
exclaim with the Psalmist, " The Lord gave the Word, 
great was the company of those that published it." 

What christian ca» contemplate with indifference the 
^ect of the phblic meetings, which have been held in 
almost every part of this country ! These have exhib> 
itcd a spirit highly becoming the precession of Christian- 
ity. The odious bars of prejudice and Wgotry have 
been broken asunder. Ministers, as well as ethers emi- 
nent for piety, of all denominations, have united heart 
aiid hand to devote alike their time, their talents, and 
their substance to promote, not the prosperity of com* 
inerce for their own aggrandizement — not the advance- 
ment of. arts and sciences, to secure importaace to them- 
selves — not the furtherance of sect or party ; but to dif- 
fuse knowledge among the ignorant— to sow the seeds of 
"Virtue among their profane and debased fellow creatures, 
and, with die purest benevolence, to plant the tree of life 
on the most distant shores. 

It is admitted, that some persons, of no common 
minds, have regarded all attempts to instruct adults as 
chimerieal ; but, after what has been done in Bristol and 
its vicinity, such an opinion must prove like a baseless 
fabric. The general and rapid improvement of the 


ndxiMs, ivho have been, and bow are^ imd^ instiUctio^ 
caDuot fail to coavince every unprejudiced olMerver« 
that their capability of acquiring learning can be evinced 
by the strongest evidence* Adulta enter their schoeb 
with very diflTerent feelinga frooi childrea. Children- 
are ftent under the authority of their parents ; they are 
themselves not convinced of the advantages they are 
subsequently to derive from what ihey then regard as a 
task, and have too seldom any ideas associated with what 
they are taught. The contrary is the case with those 
in advanced life : tliey attend the schools from their otmi 
desire to learn ; they understand the value of the work 
in which they engage ; they keep its end in view, and 
therefore assiduously apply the means for its attainment 
Difficulties do not overpower — they appear to increase 
the attention of the learners : hence it is, that the pro* 
gress of adults in learning to read, whilst it has surpri* 
sed the instructor, has delighted the pious and encour- 
aged the benevolent. 

How can we sufficiently anticipate the advantages 
which may arise to society at large, if the plans of £]§ 
committee be generally adopted ! The benefits are by 
no means confined to the individuals instructed : they 
may afterwards become iiistructers to others. That it 
will be the case to those ot their own household, caa 
scarcely be questioned. This will lessen the necessity 
for so large a number of public schools for the rising 
generation, and consequently diminish the calls upon 
Uie liberal, to provide schools for the poor in succeed* 
ifig generations. 

Another interesting motive offers itself: — Educadon, 
the perusal of the sacred Scriptures and other religious 
books, have a tendency to moralize and christianize the 
minds of men. Instead of idleness,- {Nrofaneitess, and 
vice — they inculcate, diligence, sobiiety, frugality, pie- 
ty, and heavenly roindedness. These are their spontar 
Beous and genuine fruits. Their (^ration, therefore, is 
twofold : they will greatly contribote to put a period to 
esi&tiog crimes, and encourage the piiaciples on wlikli 


society depends for its security. As far as the experi- 
meot has been fairly made, tins position is coQiinned by 

• But when the good seed hath beeu sown, and when 
the poor have indeed tasted that the Lord is gracious, 
und have experienced that in keeping his commaodments 
there is ^eat reward, how clianged will be the state of 
our favoured isle ! The lower classes will not then be so 
dependent on the more provident members of society, as 
they now are, either for the comforts or necessaries of life. 
Industry, frugality, and economy, will be their posses- 
sion. They will also have learned better to practise 
meekness, christian fortitude, and resignation. Our 

, * Dr. Ford, Ordinary of Newgate, attributes the cooimission 
of crimes to the want of education amongst the p^ipr, and their 
consequent ignorance of religion : — ** You cannot expect," he 
says, " people to practise what they do not know.'' He informs 
ss, that, on one occasion, he saw twelve men, of resj^eciable ap- 
pearance, in the condemned Felons' Pew, in the chapel, at New- 
f^te : the next day he attended them in the condemned-room ; 
e took this opportunity to inquire the reason why neither of 
thera used a prayer book during divine service, on tlie preceding 
day : " Upon this," he observed, " there was rather an appear- 
ance of confusion, and a dead silence. I put tbe question a 
second time ; and one of them hesitatingly stannnered out, * Sir, 
I cannot read :' * Nor I :' * Nor I :' was uttered by them all," 
The doctor goes on to relate another striking instance, of a sim- 
ilar kind ; and says, ** At this time I have thirteen male convicts 
under my care, twelve of whom are churchmen, like those whom 
I iait mentioned, and not more than four of them can read ; the 
thirteenth is a Roman Catholic,. and. is not acquainted with a 
single letter. If my memory served, I could quote hundreds of 
instances of' similar ignorance among criminals. Can it, he ex- 
pected, then, that such poor, untaught creatures, can be f en^ible 
of the immorality of their conduct ? Certainly not. I am posi- 
tive tiiat the rising generation carniot be made more guilty than 
the present, by learning to read ; and therefore I am for the ex- 
periment being made." 

See the Report of the Borough School, in which it appears 
that none of the children who have been there educated, have 
been charged before a civil magistrate for any misdemeanor.— 
See, also, Colquhoun's important work on the Police of the Me- 
Uopolis ; and the letter of Sir B. Phillips, on the State of the 
PnsoDB la London. 



foorVratefr will Ihus be lightened ; ear hoBpkftk, alisft* 
liousefi) dupeusanes, ftfid other fiublie chiritiea less en- 
cumbered : the generous efforts of tlie well disposed wiH 
thus become a legacy of blessiog to succeeding ages | 
whilst those whom Divine Wisdom has sees iit to place 
In the humbler stations of life* will reoomrt with gratir 
tude the favours conferred upon them, and give praise 
to him from whom is derived every good and perfect 
gift. It is to promote these purposes that we have vam 
ted : to make the scriptures koowo, revered, aed obey* 
ed ; to cause the rich aod the poor e^ally to ' rejoice 
in the inestimable blessing of the gospel — live in hatff 
mony and tlie practice of every social duty- givegkny 
to God in tlie highest— promote peace on earth, aia4 
good will to men. Is jt not then of the utmost import* 
aace to ent^hten the ignorant --to awaken ike thought^ 
less to the things on which depend their tenqporal ancl 
eternal happiness ? Is it not of consequence to make 
nominal christians better husbands— better wives-— 
better children ? Is it not a duty to make all diK* 
gent in business, faithful to the trust reposed in themf 
and thus endeavour to put a period to the evils Uial 
have disgraced our age, and to introduce the practice 
of virtue, by which we may hope for the continuance of 
the Divine favour to us, and to those who come after us f 
Admitting, then, the observations I have made to be 
just, it follows, that it is the interest) as well as the duty^ 
of every master and mistress of ever}' tradesman and 
manufacturer to promote the education oi the poor, ai 
well as the general reading of the scriptures, in which 
we find tliis admonition : ^' If there be among you « 
poor man, of one of thy brethren, within any of thy 
gates, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee J 
Vhou shalt not harden thy heart, nor shalt thou shut thy 
hasd, from thy poor brother ; but thou shalt open th^ 
hand wide unto him, and shah surely lend him fliiirieat 
for his need, in that whkh he wanteth." How neee»^ 
sary that the steward of divine bounty should be enalHed 
to say with Job—"*' Because I delivered the poor thnt 

offwd) mA the fatherkat^ and him tkAt had none to help 
kka; the hkssiiig of him that watreadj to perish came 
apoQ Bi^ and I caused the widow's heart to slog for 

As the mountains pour forth s|Mrii^ of watec, which 
descend to refsedb asd fertilize the TaUeys below ; whilst 
Hk valleys seod up their daily exhalalioiist to naoisteo 
8Dd jFevive the suiiiniits of the hills; so oneo, exalted by 
fileiy, and blessed with ailueiiee, yield ^Fin^rs of bene- 
▼olence aod charity to refresh, to coosole, aod to iostruct 
tjKwe who are placed id the vale of humao life ; whilst 
tile daily prayers of the grateful poor arise with accept- 
ance lo God for his Messings, wl^kh descend on the 
heads of their benefacloirs, '' as the dew of Hermon, and 
aa the dew that descended upon the raouotains of 2ioo : 
far^ there the Lord coflunaoded bis hlessiDg — even life 

IN the course of the year 1813, after the publication 
of the first Annual Report of the Bristol Adult School 
Society, a cooiriiderable addition was made to the list of 
subscribera, from amongst the more affluent inhabitanta 
•f the city of Bristol, paxtieularly diose belonging to 
Ae Society of Friends, who, from a conyiction of the 
great utility of the institotioD, contributed liberally to 
Sfo support ; this assistance came in very opportunely, 
and not only prerented that check to the extension of 
the society V plams which the committee began to anti- 
cipate from the defective state of its finances ; but gavi^ 
ft Iredi spring to their ^certions, and enabled them to 
prosecute their desi^s for beyond what they could 
otherwise ha^e done. Additional schools were sooo 
^)ened HI the city and its vickuty. 

The Society of Friends also granted, gratuitously, a 
Ifti^ and commodious school room, adjoiidng their meet- 
ing house, for die use of the Bristol Adult School Socie- 
ty: tiiift room is sufficieotly capacious to accommodala 


about one hifodred leardara : a school for women was 
iuccordin2ly established th^eio, uader the care and ni- 
perioteadeoce of four female friends ; but the teachersb 
employed ia it, were members of various societies. In , 
this school, aad in this oaly^ the scholars are instructed ia' 
the art of writing; but the iutroductioo of writing. in aa 
Adult School, occasioned an uneasiness and aUrm ia . 
some individuals of the committee, on account of ita 
supposed . tendency to secularize that day of the week* 
appropriated to religious edification; ao much were these 
fears excited in some conscientious persons of influencei 
that a minute was entered upon the society's books, refer- 
ring the consideration and.determinalion of it to the aexl 
aimual meeting of the society, to approve, or wholly, 
prohibit the practice in the schools belonging thereto^ 
Soon after this minute was made, a few of the opponeatg 
of this branch of education visited the school in quea*!. 
tion ; and these, from the observations they made, were 
so far satisfied with the utility of the plan, and its facil- 
itating the scholars in their learning to read, that, at the 
next meeting of the committee, a motion was brought 
forward, by one of its most active and useful members, 
to rescind the minute bdbre alluded to, which was car- 
ried witliout a dissenting voice. The reason of my 
mentioning this circumstance, is to shew that the com- 
mittee has, by its last act, more fully expressed its ap- 
probation of the introductiod of writing, than if it had 
suiTered the circumstance to have passed unnoticed. 
The design in the introduction of writing, and the oIik 
jections to it, will be more fully entered into in a subse^ 
quent part of this publication. 

A.t the time of printing the first Annual Report of the 
society, in the Fourth-month, (April,) 1&13, there were 
pine schools open for men, and the same number for wo-> 
men, in this city and its vicinify ; and 222 men, and 
231 women, making a total of 453, were at that time 
under education ; but at the commencement of the {n^ 
sent year, 1814, the schools were increased to twenty- 
Qiie for men, and twenty-three for women; there are two 

•Arts out of die eit^, in whidk iMk mm and wmmm 
»e imtracted, but net mbEed with each other. 

The ratmber oC le&nien admitted rince the e<miiDeiiee* 
mevH of the schoda, oa die 8tb of the ThirdHnonth) 
(March,) 1812, iachidii^ a period of lew than one yeav ^ 
and eleven months, abo the mimber noir tinder edncaf^ 
Han, ia aa foHowa c 

Men admitied • « - • 650^ C 54a 

MTomeo ditto • • - • 791 \ Now voder education \ TOa 
In the ^ mi^ed flcbooU, do. 67 ^ ( ^^ 

Total 1508 Total 1297 

There are also, in this city, four other congregational 
adult achoola, not under the jurisdiction of the Biist<^ 
Adult School Society. 

Thai of CasUe-Oreen MeeHng-Umae : 

Men admitted • • • - 56 
Wpmenaitto. . - - - 69 

Now in the School 

Jf» Ae TahemtteU: 

Countess rf IkmUngdim^s Chapel: 

Men admitted - - - - ,? ^ Now Ui the School - - L?. 
Women ditto ----11 J Jit 

Brufge-Street Meeting'Hmtse : 

Menadmltted - - - - M Nq^ in the School - -J,? 
' Women ditto - - - - »1 j ^ al 

From information received, it appears, that Adult 
r Sebods are now opened in various parts of the nation ; 
if and according to accounts transmitted by persons who 
\ bttve takisn an interest therein, they are uniformly at- 
' tmdi^d vith the same success as in this city. In most 
of the places where schools are established, many per- 


m» of opulence aod uffiieneehave psti^niBed Hie iui'« 
HertakiQgs. In the town of Plymouth, in the couoty of 
PevoQ, a public meetiDg was coDvened ou the 14th of 
Uie Twelflh-rooDth last, (1813,) ia the Town-hall, at 
idiich Uie mayor presided : a considerable number of the 
nost re8pect«i>le inhabitaBts attended, which resulted in 
a conclusion to establish *^ A Society, for teaching the. 
adult poor within the borough of Plymouth ; and that 
the idslitution shall also embrace those of the risinggeu- 
eration, f»ho may have been apprenticed, or placed oaf, 
without being able to read." The requisite steps for 
that purpose were resolved upon, apd a subscription en- 
tered into. One school is also opened at Bradnich, in 
tlie same county. Schools of this kind are 
tablished in London ; Uxbridge, in Middlesex ; Salis- 
bury ; Sheffield, in Yorkshire ; Norwich and Yarmouth, 
in the county of Norfolk; Ipswich, Bury, and Bungay, 
in Suffolk ; in several parts of North Wales ; at Swan- 
sea, in Glamorganshire, and some other places in South 

We have no one school belonging to the Bristol Soci- 
ety , in which adults are instructed with children ; there 
are several small establishments in this city, wherein 
they are mixed ; but we are decidedly convinced, from 
observation as well as eixperience, that this plan has not, 
neitber will it ever prove successful : it is particulariy 
unpleasant to persons of mature age, to expose their ig- 
norance and awkwardness before children, consequently, 
they do not like to. attend under such circumstances ; 
and wherever schools have been established for the in- 
struction of both these descriptions of learners, they 
have dwindled away, and proved abortive. I do not, 
however, m«an to assert, that no adults have in mixed 
schools, obtained the objects of their wished in learning 
to read ; but that they never will be the schools gener- 
ally resorted to by persons advanced in years ; conse-^ 
quently, the bulk of the labouring poor will reinaiu in 
tlieir present state of ignorance, unhappily debarred 


the ebriiBtiu) {>nvil^e idf ptmaag tlie saered teriptntei 
iQ their own dwellings. 

In the insliiiction of adults, it iBnotenly oeGessaiy 
Hiat we ftfaould feel a congciottsness that chrkftian kind* 
nes^ and benevt>}ence are the spring of our actioas, but 
"the whole of our conduct and depoitinent ahould be 
mach as wfll demonstrate to them that we are tiieir sin- 
cere friends. A softness of manners, a patient forbear- 
ance with the weakness of some of their capacities, or 
the occtissionsl slowness of their compreheosion ; zealous 
and perseveriiig endeavours to explain what they can- 
not at once understand, will gain their regard, and attbe 
same time encourage their best efforts to overcome the 
difficulties they may ipeet with ; but an austere deport- 
ihent, the use of authoritative language, or impatient re- 
buke/ win have a discouraging tendency, and frustrMe 
both their .laudable desires, and the object of our own 

It was a judicious remark of T. Charles, the founder 
of the first adult schools in Wales — "The poor people 
here are very ignorant ; but we do not tell them so, yet 
we endeavour to convince them of it." This principle 
of action our teachers should "endeavcur to keep in view : 
to upbraid them with ignorance, would discourage the 
dii&lent, irritate rougher minds, and have a tendency to 
damp in each their ardent endeavours for improvement. 
But, if we kindly strive to entice them onward, from 
step to step, by impressing their minds with an idea that 
every difficulty they overcome, and every degree of 
knowledge they acquire, will render their future tasks 
more easy ; suggesting, at the same time, the pleasure 
they will soon experience, and the great advantage they 
will derive from being able to read, they will easily dis- 
cover the ignorant state they are in, as well as the loss 
tliey have hitherto sustained for want of the learning 
they now have an opportunity of acquiring. 

** Great examples ai*e in vain, 
"Where ignorance begeU despair.'^ 


The MBidiig wtti of memoiy id ididt l6inicM» te 
another circurngtance which will elaim the utteotkn of 
teachen; hut neoMNry, like the other faeiidtifiB^ the 
Biiod^ 18 to be improTed by eierelae. la aone ^ ther 
flcheolB, thofc who ciui rea4 a little are set to leam aeih^ 
teoces, short panages of acripture, or bpom ; aod thiat 
may hare its importaot uses, both with xeipeet to inn 
proving the powers of recollec^on, and storing the mn^ 
with the leading principles of Christianity. We &e- 
quently find, that the learners can spell Mieir lessons^ 
when they have Uieir eyes upon diem, aod (Mrooounce^ 
the words wkh correctness ; but turn the face of the card: 
iron them, and desire them to speO certain words la 
which they have just before been exercised three tinea, 
over, and we shall find them extremely deficient : they 
say, they cannot remember. On observing this circum- 
Btanee, when occasionally vi^ng some of the schools, 
I have endeavoured to convince them this was from a 
want of exerting their mental powers, (without telling 
them they did not use their best efforts) by proponng a 
question similar to the following :-^*^ If I were to desire^ 
.two or three of you in this class, to call al two o'clock,* 
eu such a day of the week, at Ko. 2, Richmond-Tep^, 
race, Clifton, (In the vicinity of Bristol,) where you* 
should receive three shillings ; at No. 17, where you-, 
should receive one shilling ; aod at No. 21, where yoU: 
should receive four shillings, each person ; if I shouk^ 
i-epeat this distinctly three times, would you be likely 
to forget any part of what I said ?'' This proposltioQ 
has excited a smile, aod a look indicating their conscious- 
ness of not haFiiig sni&ciently exerted their memory in 
acquiring their spelling lesson. Some would reply to- 
ihe question in the negative ; which gave roe an oppor^ 
tunity of observing — *' In that case you would, accord- 
ipg to your own confession, bear lune things in remem-^ 
brance : the place, the day, the hour, the three numbers 
of the houses, and three several sums you wei^ to re* 
ceive ; but your learning to spell three or four words 
out of book, or from recofiection, would be to you of far 


morcjastiog benefit than the sum of mooey I have men- 

In the precediog pages, I have endeavoured to lay 
before the publio a correct, impartial, asd explicit nar- 
irative of the origin. of adult schools, as well as of the 
successfiilexertions of ti» Bristol Society for extending 
the means of educatioa amongst thai long neglected ckss 
of their iellow creatures, whose ignorance of the holy 
scriptures loudly and imperiously calls for those chrisr 
tian. endeavours, to raise them from their state of moral 
degradation ; that they may in future enjoy, in commoa 
with.those in tlje higher walks of life, the inestimable 
blessings that sacred volume was intended to convey to 
the bulk of mankind. ; I shall now endeavour to enter 
Hpon Q/Q^et circumstances connected with these schools^ 
and the ulUmate object coBtenaplated by their benevo- 
lent friends aiad supporters.. . 

In lusiting some 9f the Adult Schools in this city, in 
company wHh WiQiam Smith and others^ and observing 
So many of my poor, and almost pennyless, fellow-crea* 
tures of both sexes, assembled for. the purpose of learn- 
ing to read, and, I hope, leamipg also to obey the sacred 
code, .and thereby happily experiencing a preparatioo 
for another and a better world, I have been fully per- 
suaded this effort dS christian. We originated in the su- 
preme Dispenser of all our blessings ; that he has open- 
ed the hearts and inclined the minds of many to offer 
personal, others, pe^^iniary assistance, to enlighten and 
benefit thipse classes of society, which stood in need of 
such friendly help. Had it not been for such schools, 
where would these poor uneducated people have been 
Impending their time? What would have been their employ- 
ment on tlieday of the week appointed for e^cial de- 
Totionto the great Creator, and oui; edification in right- 
eousness ? Perhaps in public houses, squandering their 
little earnings which their families stand in need of, inn 
bibing corxuption from bad i^K^mples, or disseminating 
the same by irreligious apd p^o^ane conversation ; pro-j 
baUy getting into mdiappy foroil% cherishing discordr 


and florfmodtf » daotiniedve lo Adir pnieiit eonfSift 9 
well as fulure p^nceof miBd; but who daw, white! iean^ 
iDg. to read, are imbibiog from the aciiptores, as wdl aa 
the little hooka employed io teachkig, the pfinel|^ea: 
of piety and rivt^e ; which, we have leasoa Io hope- wilV 
whilst their haods are engai^ed Id their daSy Idbowr, \» 
provideutiaUy foroitghi to their recotteetion, with suft- 
dent fiorce to preTeot their joimng i& with ihe lempt»i' 
tioos tliey may be exposed to; and, by these means, be* 
acme ejtamples to their more aogumrded and cornet as* 

With how much greater pleasure and satisfaelaoii witt 
ftey reUiro to thehr Uibour, in the nomiiig, after recei^w 
iog additional improvement-^haviog their miads stored 
with a few additio&al seotlmeiits, that may nsphre them» 
witii ifiereasiug liopes of becoming m«>e useftil in socio* 
ty, and better prepared for the ^ to coaie t How plea** 
hig i^ it to see the «^ed poor anxioos (Smt the pri^lege 
of reading Aeir Biblaa; eoBdeaceodiiig to sit dowff 
to be instmcted in tlie use of letters, by those yeaaff 
enough to be thehr d^ldren, aid eren ^leir grand- 
children I A joyftil acf^isitioB^ to maay of th^ ha# 
been ^ Utile ^y luiTe learned. I heard one of theat 
wlio had learned, al eighly*fire yearn of age, to read thft 
Bible, say that she would not part wiik the liMSe lesn»i 
ksg she had acquised, for as many guineas as ^lere wem 
kares in her Bible, notwitbstandii^ slie racked aoaonf 
lihe poorest of the poor. Many have aekoowledgei^ 
with tears of gratitude and j<9 flowlog on their fohxMN 
ed. ched», the greataesaof the blessing hereby confeiare^ 
iipon them. Surely we may say < witt S^omon^^ Leara*' 
ing to the wise^ is Uke an ormimenlof g^ sa^i abrao€N 
let mi the right arm." It is so to the truly wise^**4si 
ttose who are wisely dispooed to c^nploy it for the gooi- 
pnrpoaca for which h waa bestowed»--4oread and t» u»> 
demtaad the things diat belong to peace and salftation f 
it will be to such the unfodii^ ornament e^ y^mttt mo^ 
of; aid age. G4addeniag wiH it be t» the hearts of ail 
ttua^christiaiia, i» mote oleYatcdstaftiooB^t<y see ftepoea 


« «{ ^t m^M MMeTidt Bi graeef «»MmM there, vrhcA 
Ihe lamp of iife aluUI fBiatfy glinuiier ia the «ocket, treads 
mg the cbrjfltiai} paths, iHHniiQated by the Fesplendeiit 
b^diB8 pf the ami^ r^fateottSDOi ; and, when the cur^ 
ifufls of the eveoii)^ i^all be drawioje; closely upoa them^ 
be able to BJag of jadgneBt and of inerey, «¥eo undec 
the firessitre of poverty and bodily afflictioo. May the 
Cbd of fldl grace abuodaotly bkis these labours of lor% 
lo idl who are made parti^eraof them, that they and 
dieir beodfactors amy rejoice together $ renderiog, upon 
Ae altar of their hearts, the offeiing of thanksgiriBg 
Bad praise to God, who idoBe has a i1^ to receive it! 
Whea these shall meet in the idf^dom of transceiideiit 
po^f eartUy grand^o^, «¥efl erowos and dktdems, will 
be fargelteD : the rich and the poor will be equalized^ 
aad pure etenml lore be, the iodissoluble bood of union, 
cementing tlieir Inmiiittal spirits to each other, aod to 
ihecoi^eaa ayriads of aaiats aod angels, who, with 
aera^ic melody, proclaim faallehijahs to God and the 
Lamb for enser ! 

lu fKroseeuting ihe j^aos for insinicd&g the adult poor 
lo sead,^ we hare, as might aaturallj^be expected, met 
with a Tftrlety of oploioa on the practicability, the pro« 
priety^ aod efen the daogierotts coosequences of the 
scheme ; iuhI the idea of instnicting persons far adranced 
ia age has excited even the ridicule <^ ^<gudiced indl^ 
viduals ; bat, if any person into wiiose hand^ this nar^ 
n^ire may come, should be disposed to inquiie— What ' 
benefit cmi possibly result fnnn teaehkig persons of sixty, 
iercBty, eighty, or more years of nge, to read the Bi« 
ble, X wocdd request leave to ebaerve, that we do oot 
B&A lor flttch ; oevertibekss, the instances alieady men- 
ticmed^jare so mauy ejcecllent and vaduable proofs of tlie 
praetieabillty of pemom very lar arfvaneedin age, re^ 
edviog tbatinstructiKin, which requires an exercise of 
: the m«aory which wany wiU i^drmed individuals have 
boUly denied. One of these learuers, seventj^even 
years oM, observed to her teacher — "It is never toor 
lale to lemm a good thi^.'' But I woi^d take the IHv 
«ty of asking ihe iaquinm be&re aeatioBed, bow caa. 


vre refase these agedaf^icaots the pdlvitefe of leamiiig 
to read, wheo they come forward with earnest adlicitih 
tions to be iostnicted, for the very puqmse of derivi^ 
edification and comfort from the perusal of the bol^ 
scriptures ? If they shouid enjoy that acquisition for 
only the last -year of their lives, it may prove to them 
a most iovaloabie blesising. Let us not,, therefore, deny 
ihem the balm that may sooth their minds under t^ 
combined .aCSiction of poverty and of age. It may hap- 
pily be the meiids of conductif^ their feet to the Uue 
fountain of spiritual health and strength, (to the know- 
ledge of the Eedeemer's kingdom;) this will be a staff 
to lean upon, when their hoary heads are bending to^ 
. ward the silent grsfve, and ^ir footsteps fast advancing 

^ toward their eternal home. Under these considerations, 
will not every ch^stian ardently exclaim-^0 ! let them 
read of the wisdom^ and goodness, of die love and merc^ 
of their omnipotent Creator: Let them employ then* 

^latest breatlr in pvoclaimiBg their Maker's, their Re- 
deemer's praise ? 

One strong feature of that generous and christian 
benevolence, which of latter times so ardently 8eeki» t^ 
extend amongst the poor and ignorant the inestimable 
blessings of education, and a knowledge of the sacred 
writings, has occurred in the French Prison, at Staple- 
ton, near this city; where one Frehchmaa and one Ame- 
rican have evinced a great solkitude to instruct theif 
fellow-prisoners of each respective country, and have 
actually ehtered upon' that laudable employment. This 
circumstance. It is to be hoped, will be ptodu45tive'cf 
important benefits ; not only amongst the thousands con- 
fined within the walls of that prison, bat, at some fattti# 
period, perhaps not very distant, the good cause hf 
which they have voluntarily engaged, may, by Jhis cil»y 
cmnstance, be carried by the instructers, as well as the' 
instructed, to the adult poortK)th of France and Am^e-; 
rica, where it may spread as it is now doing in this coun-^ 
try ; that thousands and tens of thousands may hereafterf* 
trace the hand of Infinite Wisdom and goodness, urtiMi-^* 
has thus been graciously pleased to educe good out of 


^H, aad make even tbe priBoners of war the lostrunjeot^ 
of diffusing still more widely the glad tidings of the 
^pel from sea to sea, aod from river to river, to the 
vtry ends of the earth ; that grace and peace may be 
i&ultiplied unto all men, ^ Through the knowledge of 
God and of Jeaus ottr Lord, according as his divine 
^ower hath given ubto us ail things that pertain unto 
hh and goodness, through- the knowledge of him that 
hath called us to glory and to virtue ; wh^eby are giv* 
en unto ub exceeding great and precious promises, that 
by these they may l^ made partakers of the divine na- 
ture, having escaped the corruption that isiuthe world- 
through lust.** That, finally, the prophecy of Isaiah 
may be fulfilled in all the eardi-^" The Lord shall com- 
fort ZioB ; he will- comft>rt all her waste places, and he 
w^l make her wikiemess Hke Eden, and her desert like 
the garden of the Lord : joy and gladness shall be found 
therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody." 
• The following letters will- serve to ahew the degree ot \ 
ardour which exists in the mind of that generous man, 
Benjamin Burritt, the American prisoner, who has so- 
lienevolently endeavoured to improve his companions in: 

'^ To HuCmmnimt rfihe BriHol AujeUktf^ BUh S^- 

] StJftplet6iiPH«0B,Sept. 40,1815. ' 


*? - "I received'from yoursociety, by the hwids of* 
0aude Guiot, three Biblea and ten Testameots'; f<jr 
which P return my sincere thanks. I believe tbe books 
n«-pr<^t«bly employed by my sohool-; and havetakea^ 
the liberty to write, upon the nmirgin of each, the name' 
of the person, and, ^ Presented- firom the -Bristol bociety/' 
iTon will find annexed, the namesd the persons who> 
teve recited boob> aod>the eoontiy to* wbieb tbeji' 


. ^^ My ardent wishes and cmistiilit endeavoars are ta 
promote the designs of your society ; that whilst th^ 
aBsistiog arm of kiudness is extended, we may receive 
from it permanent good. ^ Paul may plant, and ApoUoa 
Water, j et God gives the increase :' unless we lahour 
88 well as pray for this, increase, we neglect his Law^ 
and our most important interest It is pleasing to dis- 
cover a gradual reformation in the conduct of some of 
liiy scholars, and a satisfaction to know that they are 
l^etter men. In the place of selfishness, profanenesQ^ 
poise, and obsceiiit}', are substituted the modest inquiry 
for iafonuation, and desire to promote reciprocal bene- 
volence. Those who are able to read and understand, 
are classed ; and we read in the Testament twice a day. 
The school in which I am engaged, is instrumental ia 
promoting your desirable and important designs amongst 
the uufoiiunate piisooers : jet, labouring under inconve* 
nienccs, and, 1 may truly say, almost insurmountable, 
diiliculties ; >nd I believe it is my duty to make them 
known to your useful Institution, at the same time with, 
uo Bqrmll .degree of delicacy, 

^^ The French prisoners in general, though I am happy 
to say with some exceptions, are opposed to our pursuits i;. 
and they occupy every convenient place for a school; 
with their mecliajiical business. For the place which 
I now occupy, comprising two tables about nine feet in 
length and two and a half in width, I pay fifteen shilliogs 
per month. I have taught the school two mouths, at 
one shilling and sixpence each scholar per montli ; they 
are mostly unable to pay me, and what I have i^eiyed 
lias been barely sufficient to pay for the place and tables; 
yet I have the satisfaction to find, that my coostaot al^* 
tendance and indefatigable exertions have beensuccesQ?- 
1^1, in promoting useful knowledge. In this pursuit I 
expect no emolument, only a comfortable. subsisteuc^ 
with the means to do good. A trifling asaistauce woid| 
enable. me to improve my school, without whicli, I fear 
it must decline*. Destitute myself of ev$ry. thing but a' 
l^risQu's aUowaoce^^fai from aflectlaoate pious p«pfi%' 

abundantly at)le to assist me, and would do it with all 
'possible speed, did they but know my situatioQ : I have 
'written to them, and undoubtedly shall receive assist- 
' "ince as soon as it can be effected ; yet it will take time : 
a wide ocean rolls between us, and an inclement season 
is coming on. \ 

"It is ray sincere desire and prayer that the exertions 
of your society, and all similar institutions, may be 
crowned with success — ^the oppressed be set free — and 
the whole family of mankind be happy in the knowledge 
iiud belief ol another and a better world, through our 
liOrd and Saviour Jesus Christ ; and subscribe myself, 
*' Your humble brother in Christ, 


In a postscript, he mentions the names of tlie several 
'prisoners to whom were given some Bibles and Testa- 
-ments, previously received from the Bristol Society, 
nrhich it was thought not requisite to transcribe ; to the 
postscript he adds— ** The books thus disposed of are 
usefully employed, as far as I can judge. I wish I had a 
few more Bibles and Testaments ; as some of the Ger- 
man prisoners have applied to me f6r books to read, and 
'they are steady well disposed men ; they mentioned a 
Bible or Testament as their choice.** 

••* To the Committee of the Bristol Auxiliary Bible ^Or 

' Stapleton Prison, Oct. 15, ISiS- 

" I received one dozen of Testaments, by the 
hands of Claude Gulot, for which I cannot but feel 
grateful, and take the liberty to return my sincerethanks : 
they are all usefully employed in my school. While I 
have tlie honour of addressing so useful and respectable 
an Institution, permit me to state the situation of ny 
school, for which the books were intended. Soon after 
iKfry arrival at this uttfortunate place of confioemeat, 

dr sUtute of every tiiiog yaloabk, aod io an idle atuft* 
tion, I remembered the tmwearied exertions of mj affec- 
tiooate parents to give me an education ; and was coor 
Tinced it was my duty, as well as interest, to make my 
self useful to my fellow-prisoners ; accordingly, I pro- 
posed a school : it gradually increased to the number of 
twenty -two Americans, and four Frenchmen. I consid- 
ered the knowledge of the holy scriptures as the mosit 
important of all pursuits, and have not failed to make 
them a considerabfe part of our daily studies. A greM 
proportion of the French prisoners are unbelievers, and 
unfriendly, (which is certainly owing to ignorance, or 
wilful depravity,) of course they were unwilling that 
my school should occupy their places during the houm 
of study. I was determined to pursue my object agaiost 
ad opposition, knowing that Satan's kingdom will be 
pulled down, and the everlasting gospel of Christ be fi- 
nally est'dblished .throughout the whole habitable wodd* 
1 also considered it the most pleasing employment to 
contribute my mite, with tlie rest of the world, in pro- 
moting so glorious and so desirable an object. 

'^ A number of my scholars sell part of their allow- 
ance of beef, to pay me for their iostructioo, by which 
means our expenses are defrayed ; seme pay nothings 
and fram some I get rixpence per month ; on the whole, 
we are poof, but I hope honest I shall proceed as far 
as ability will permit; and fieel rewarded m ith the theugbt 
of being useful, and not a miserable blank in creation, 
while in this confinement; hoping that the time is not 
far distant, when it will be consistent with God*s wise 
and just providence that we shall be permitted toretura 
to our native countries^ and the ecijoyment of our friends. 

" I should be very glad to receive a few Bibles, should 
the society think proper ; they will be advantageoiiSi 
«nd thankfully received in tiie school. With sentimeota 
jof respect and esteem, 1 have tlie honour to be, 
" Gentlemen, 

. '^ Your most obedient and very humble servant, 


' The candid reader will, I have no doubt, readily 
excuse the few incorrect seotences in the foregoing let« 
ters, not being the productions of one who had been fa- 
Toured with a liberal education, and permit his atten- 
tion to be fixed upon the benevolent spirit by which he 
is actuated,* in the laudable endeavours he is exert- 
ing to render himself importantly useful to his poor 
uneducated fellow-captives. May the praise-worthy 
example of this individual rouse into activity many 
others, in the various prisons of this nation, to render 
similar services to their unfortunate companions ; thus 
fioay the adversities of human life be made, through the 
Divine blessing, subservient to the future prosperity of 
thousands in what respects their happiness in the life to 
come, as we!l as contribute essentially to their comfort 
on this side of the grave. 

I wrote to Benjamin Burritt ia the 11th Month, 
^ovember,) 1813, and requested him to give me an 
account of his school at that time ; which, although it 
may contain some repetion, will not, I trust, be unac- 
ceptable to the reader. 

To Thomas Pole, M. D. 

StapIetOD Prison, Novemter 6, iai5« 


** I received, by the hands of Mr. Smith, some use-- 
fid articles, proofs of your benevolence, and regard iSor^ 
the unfortunate. Although a destitute stranger, hx' 
ttom my aativc home, yet I have cause daily to praise 
the g^eat Pturent of being and excellence for pious 
friends, and, above all, for the, glorious blessings and 
priTUeges of religious improvement. I hare betbre me 


your Addresa to the OcuBiniU^ of the BfLrtol A^a^ 
School Society : the truth of the remarks, and ebject* 
aimed at, are iaviting to every eriligbteaed mind. 
Although the judgments of God are abroad io the earth, 
yet hisiioly Spirit is operating upon the hearts of maoy 
to do good, in their day, to the present rising genera- 
tion How ought those to rejoice who have the means 
to promote this glorious object : theirs is an approyiog 
conscience, and the promised blessings of Heaven. 

'^ Io teadiag the eighth Report of Uie British and 
Foreiga Bible Society, [ found a letter of correspond* 
euce from Hartford, state of Connecticut ; among the 
ofiic^ of th<3 Society (with many of wliom I am ac- 
quainted) I found the name of Samuel Merwin, pf JlfeW'* 
Haven. My father is one of the deacons of his Society* 
It reminded me of the Sabbath-days wben, under hi» 
^instruclioo, with my aged parents, we offered up our. 
jbrayera, as well as praises and tbanl^giFing, for all tht 
plesidngs wiiich we enjoyed, hotb temporal and spi- 
Htual ; also the period when we were students together 
under Dr. Timothy Dwight, President of Yale College* 
I can but sigh, and pray for the return of those happy 

^ Great exertiotts have been, and are now maki^ 
in America for diffusing the Gospel Hght and know* 
ledge^ to Christianize the Indian tribes on our western 
frontiers, with much sucfiess. To the .ioiditous iabouiy 
jofike British and Foreign Bible Society, the world k 
-tlrefidy ^eatly iodebl^ idr ^« widely extended cij^ 
culation of the word of eternal life { and to mortal 
beings, what can be more preoiouiB ?-^The period,, and 
the authors of iis commeocement, will be transmitted by 
jpiouB Christians through unborn generations* 
' -^^^ I am cooiident that in this depot much good 
might Jsie effected. Here is to be found a body of mea 
from difftjrept parts of the worid^^various in habits and 
dispositions-T-ignoraat of jthe Supreme Belpg, .the jug- 
tice of his providence, hip |)erfections and excelleoce ; 
Itrom such a body of mep, (soured by hardships, prifft*. 


110119 md peBilrf, secluded from the cominoii bountilei 
of the world) we may hope much, but cair expect little 
progress without means. Oevolioh aod public worship 
are requisite to newness of heart — ^they are means com* 
manded to be made use of. What a blessed thmg woul4 
it be to see established, within these walls, the .church 
of Christ! In the place of infidelity, blasphemy, and 
jsvery evil work — the fear and love of God, obedience 
to his requirements, seeking mutual happiness with dis- 
interested benevolence, considering the world as as 
embryo of existence. 

." With cheerfulness, esteemed Friend and Country- 
man, I have the honour to comply with your request 
respecting my school. Soon after my arrival at this 
juiforlunate place, with a numerous body of prisoners 
(whose dissoluteness, ignorance of conduct, alid man- 
pilars were painful,) I remembered the exertions of my 
affectionate parents to give me an education ; and cod** 
eluded it was my duty, although a prisoner, to become 
iiseful, and not continue a blank in creation* Accord* 
jbgly, I proposed a school, and it gradually increased 
jfrom six to twentyseven ; and I have had the bapi- 
pioess to see my exertions crowned with some success* 
Yet here you cannot expect any thing very extensive 
frpm the destitute situation of myself and feUow-pri* 
goners. I hate gone to the extent of my abilities to do 
good, and shall continue. All that I have received 
^om them for instruction, has been but barely sufficient 
to pay the expenses of a place ; and the allowance of 
food is barely a si^istence. Yet many of my scholan 
WOt)l In the course of the day, and with their small 
.earmngs and allowance, live comfortably. Some have^ 
^t times, >8Qld part of their allowance of meat, to assist 
ine in paying for jByjchool-room: from some I have 
xequired nothing. 

*' Mj night and ihj school employs all my time ; 
^ud I have great satisfaction to think I am doing good. 
As long as I continue in this place, it will be my. 
endeavour l» do good to my feHow^prtsoneiB. I liavf 


about ele^B trho are unable to pay linj tliifig, yet krt 
'HDxioua to fteara ; some have a desire to come, but it is 
necessary for me to fawra aooie m^m$ of «upp<Nrt la th^ 
arduous task* Thus for, coosisteiit iritii truth, I have 
(endeavoured to give you an idea of the situation of wa^ 
school $ many have quitted their profane language and 
levity, and appear to be more agreeable companions, 
fihould I contiime here, further exertions will be pro* 
ductive of more good. 1 am, with thankfulness, 
•• Honoured Sir, 
• ** Your most obedient and very humble servant, 


In the Reports of the Strangers' Friend Society iir 
Bristol, for the year 1813, is recorded the following- 
gratifying instance of zeal for learning to read the 
Scriptures, in a poor man, whilst suffering pain from a 
distressing accident : 

; V «« Joseph Ingram was seen in much distress, in Ann- 
IBtreet, with a wife and two small children. Not being 
able to get work a considerable part of the winter, they 
were reduced to great poverty. Tliis case was visited 
and relieved, until the man was employed by some 
builders, as a mason's labourer; but in a few^ days, he 
met with a severe accident, by a block of freestone fall- 
ng on bis hand, which was dreadfully bruised^ and 
one of his fingers nearly torn away. He was admitted 
an out-patient to the Infirmary; but his parish being 
remote, he applied again to the Strangers' Friend, who 
visited him, and recommended his case to the Samaritan 
Society for more effectual relief. It may not be un- 
worthy of remark, that the visiters, on calling a second 
time, found this poor man, though, afflicted with strong 
pain and all the aggravations of cheerless poverty, was 
gone to lan Adult School, to learn to Read the Holy 


. ; When velook around us, wHb ao e^eof teievolenise 

. and Christian charity, to ascertain and adopt the best 

^ myalls of extending the blessings of education amoDgst 

. poor aduits, we siiould not ne^ect those public Itistilu- 

tioiis wherein are collecte<l, either temporarily or move 

pcrfflaDently, a number of persous under that descrip-^ 

. ttoa : such as hospitals, alcns-houses, 3?ork*hou8e8, and 

. even prisons ; in each of these there Mriil be, no doulvt^ 

. opportunities and niethods found, by the well directed 

, exertions of suitable persons, under the sanction of the 

. Governors or acting - Committees of those several In- 

, stitutioQs, for carrying this beneficial system into effect. 

As long since as the year 1748, the late Dean Tuck* 

] evy in a ^rsaon preached before ^.^ The Contributors to 

the Support of the Bristol Infirmary,'' alludes pointedly 

to the practicability of making those lostitutions for 

! relieving the sick and injured poor, subservient to the 

promotion of moral virtues ; one very important means 

^feflecting which is, unquestionably, the general i»^ 

atruction of the lower classes in the use of letters. Od 

this subject, he expresses himself in these w<Hrds : — 

/^ As to tlie secondary views which this our Institi»* 

.tion may be made subservient to, these have been ra- 

.ther casually touched upon and briefly hinted at, than 

.expressly treated of at large, in the Discourses that 

have hitherto preceded. And particularly it hath 

not been yet, as I know of^ distinctly and fully set forth, 

what a tendency it has toward retrieving the almost lost 

sense of piety and virtue among the poor : nor have 

hospitals and infirmaries been immediately considered 

as 60 many schools for the revival and propagation of 

morality and religion, and as means that may conduce 

toward a national reformation in the common people." 

The Dean proceeds,. " By considering the good done 
to tlie body, as introductory to a better and an high- 
er view, viz. To the iaculcating of a practical sense of 
duty towards God and man, and to the saving of the souU 
A consideration this, which verily, in point of humau 
prudence, and m tlie score of the jmblic good of socio- 


ty, CMmot Ikb ^kem^cl by an/ to be Ji weak or impropep 
motive to be joined to the many already referred to, f6» 
recommending this charitable Fouudation ; seeing that 
integrity and justice, labour and frugality, temperance 
and sobriety, and the whole circle of moral and social 
duties are the thinars which cause a nation to thrive and 
flourish ; as, on tlie contrary, vices are its certain bane 
and min : even though it should be supposed that reli- 
gion and a future state w^re out of the question. — Nt»r 
surely, after this, will it need any apology to those itho 
•look beyond the concerns of the pi*esent life, and whose 
.hopes are full of immortality, that such a subject should 
be allowed .a distinct and ample consideration in tlie 
following Discoui-se. To this end, therefore, I have 
chosen these words of the text — ' That I might by ail 
ftieans save someJ*-r-^Whexe the^ Apostle informs us that 
he did many things, and accommodated himself to tl^ 
genius, tempers, and wants of many difTereut people, 
where he could con^tently do it, for the sake of gaia- 
ing the great end in view — the conversion and salva- 
^on of theii* souls : for he became all things tmto all 
men^ &iat he might by all m£ans save same. With the 
^ame view tiien, I shall ccrasider the institution of hospi- 
tals and Infirmaries, as the Apostle did the accommo- 
dating himself to the inclinations and afTectioos of thos6 
he had to converse with ; t. e, I shall consider it as a 
,means which, though highly laudable and beneficial ia 
itself, is rendered still more valuable by being mad^ 
aubaervient to a much nobler and better end — a na- 
tional reformation, and the interests of true religion anct 
Christian morality. Nor can it be objected, if we will 
but reflect a moment on the present state of the prin- 
ciples and morals of the lower class of people, that this 
is a needless design, or an unnecessary end for us to 

. In this city, aothing to any considerable extent, has 
yet been done respecting the establishment of schools m 
«our hospitals or prisons, although this subject has c^" 
cupied the attentioa of individuals active i& the cause 


of ediscaiimi l^lativei to adiUto ; luch estaUKdimiito are 

at this time uoder serious deliberation, and efibrts are 
making to effect these benevoleQt wishes of the Adult 
School Societj. lu that called St. Peter's Hospital^ 
there has, for some time past, been a school for women, 
which is rendered very respectable by the industry and 
proper management of those females who have gener* 
Qusly Yoiunteered their services for its management. 
In Bridewell, there is also one, very recently establish- 
ed, for the instruction of women ; they accepted the 
proposal with ardour, and evinced a sincere gratitude 
for the friendly exertions made for their improvements ' 

Private Schools. 

yin the course of applications for learners, in thr 
i^ourts and lanes of Bristol, some persons have beea 
£t>und amongst the untaught poor, who evince a grekt'^ 
aversion to attend the public schools opened for their 
instruction ; this may arise from variety of disposition, 
^s well as from a consideration of the circumstanceti 
attending the pursuit of ^hat'knowledge of which they 
are in want ; but even if it be from pride, indolence^ 
iitiame, or ignorance ofthe true value of learning, these , 
Sjjnpediments cannot be overcome by force.- * 

When all who are willing to attend the public schools 
are collected; It becomes a consideration with the benev- 
dent, whcLt will be the best means of gathering iip the. 
firagmenjs, that nothing may be lost No plan appears 
letter calculated to effect this- desirable purpose, than- 
ihat of forming Frivaie Schools in the dwellings of the 
p^x; where small companies of neighbours, acquaint- 
ed . Ipith each other, may be collected for the purpose- 
rf receiving instruction in a more private way, tront 
teachers of suitable ages, aiid who niay be agre^ble t<ir 


tcft tfafai idea^ I ftdcoowled^^DiTaelf indebted to my^ 

Talued friend James Mootgomery, of Sheffield, (a naii 
veil koowD to the world as a poet,) in a letter I received' 
from him a short time jsince ; speaking of llie tiro Adult 
Schools established in Sheffield, he observe&^*' In this 
iowo, the plan has succeeded happily, so far as it bas' 
been perseveringly tried; but many per8onfi^ particu*! 
larly the men^ though williog to be taught, are asham- - 
ed to learn in large schools, where their ignorance and 
awkwardness are exposed to young people or strangers; 
i^ is therefore intended, so far as it can be done con- 
yealenUy,. to teach such at their private dwellings^ ittt 
small classes, where six or eight neighbours may be as- 
sociated together. This hint is worthy your consider* 
ation, and the experiment may be advantageously 
made, where such obstmctioDs to the establishment of. . 
large associations occur from the shyness or obstinacj 
of those who are very reluctant to appear what they are, 
and very willing by stealth to become what they are not;' 
The feelings, nay, the prejudices ofsuch, ought to be ten- 
derly treated, and accommodated as much as posbible.^- 
One objection to this plan is obvious ; which is, thai> 
the persons thus collected will pr^^ably be in diiferent^ 
Stages of learning, and, whilst a teacher is pointing to- 
a lesson of single syllables, for tl^f instruction of one or^ 
two of the pupils, those who are farther advanced are^ 
losing time ; for one great object in the Laucasteriao-^ 
tfpstem of education i^, that each individual in a sehoo)^ ^ 
though consisting of many hundreds, should every miO"^ 
nteo^histime be employed in learning sometfaingjUial'^ 
he does not yet understand : it is with &i» intention thal^ 
die scholars are so classed as to have every one in a*- 
class precisely in the same stage of advancement^ conse-' 
quently, all must have their attention constantly fixed; 
upon a lesson they have not yet leamedi In these Pri^* 
^Me SchooU^\ managed by one teacher, the teacher^8» 
time must necessarily be divide^;, for, whilst he is in-- 
structing perhaps two or tluree in a lesson^ composed 9lb 
words of one sylkMe^ tbeothen moie ^ArvmA ay&: 


ilmiyoid^bfy neglected ; consequentty, there will be a 
great loss of valuable time. But DotwithstandiDg this 
di«adyantage, material benefits majr result from schools 
-of this descriptioD, even if the advancement of some of 
the learners be for a time retarded ; for, bj adopting 
this plan, many hundreds of the poor may be taught to 
read the Holy Seiiptures, who would otherwise lemaib 
in a state of deplorable ignorance. 

Hu Bristol School of Refuge. 

Through the successful Exertions made by the Bris- 
tol Adult School Society, we have seen collected in its 
numerous seminaries the sober and orderly poor of both 
sexes, grateful for the privileges they enjoy, and earnest 
to obtain tlve benefits of educatioq. 

We have seen tlie individuals of that society (n$l 
coittented with receiving those who voluntarily apply 
for admission) traversing the streets of the city inhab- 
ited by the poor, entering their dwellings, and soliciti' 
fng them to embrace the opportunity afibrded them to 
acquire the knowledge of letters, and ability to read the 
Holy Scriptures. We have also seen them extendiiy 
their Walks to the surrounding villages, of five, six, and 
even ten miles distance, to offer the same advantages 
there to their unlettered fellow-creatures ; to whom the 
sacred writings have hitherto been a sealed book. We 
hav,e seen too, the rude, long-neglected inhabitants of 
Kingswood opening their doors, with tliankful gladness, 
to these friends of mankind, and accommodating Uieir 
neighbours to assemble with them and participate in the 
blessings of Heaven, through the instrumentality of these 
zealous labourers in this newly opened field. 

But what will the reader «ay, when he is UAd that 

we have now beheld some ^f the most amiable, modest, 

atid pious young female^ in this city, directing their 

ifoc(t8teps to it^ loathsome lanes and courts^ where the 



wretched inhabitants are sink in depths of deprarity. 
These sincere friends to that pure religion, whose di- 
Tine Author '^ came not to call the righteous, but sin- 
ners to repentance," deeply dipped in Christian syui- 
pathj for the most miserable class of their own sex, 
whose support is the wages of iniquity, have been seen, 
in the view of astonished spectators, to enter the dread- 
ful haunts of abandoned liceutiousness— to lead to a 
school, denominated The School of R^ge, appointed 
exclusively for them, the miserable victims of vice and 
seduction who were willing to renounce their iniquitous 
courses : these are invited to receive the blessings of 
education under pious examples, and hear the means of 
. iheir redemption, proposed by the God of Love and 
Mercy in Christ Jesus, read from the Holy Scriptures. 
By which means there is reason to hope, some of these 
pitiable objects will be snatched as brands from the 
burning, and happily delivered not only from their 
. present wretchedness, but finally from the realms of ir- 
remediable wo. Should this undertaking succeed, I 
. conceive it would be the highest pitch to wMch the 
Adult School Society could aspire, and may be consid- 
ered the crown and gUnry oi that Institution. It will 
of course require, the co-operation and support of the 
affluent, to provide for the necessities of these sad ob- 
jects of solicitude and care, until they can be put into a 
way of procuring a maintenance for themselves, by 
honest and honourable means. Some opulent individ- 
uals of the other sex, have already evinced their liber- 
ality, and held meetings to deliberate upon the plans 
requisite for making an effectual provision. 

A number of religious and highly respectable nien 
seem disposed to patronize the benevolent Founders of 
this School, under a persuasion that it has commenced 
in that simplicity which should characterize the off- 
spring of religious duty ; and it is now probable that 
the more penitent individuals will, ere wng, be col- 
lected into one house, appropriated solely to their ben- 
eKty onder tke regulation and nanagement of judi«< 


eious females, assisted hy a committee of mea* I am 
persuaded nothing short o{ a strong coovictioD of re- 
ligious duty would have induced those diffident, unas- 
suming females to enter upon an undertaking so ardu- 
ous, and which they knew would necessarily expose 
them to scenes and interviews truly irksome, and re- 
pugnant to the sentiments of virtuous delicacy they had 
been accustomed to cherish. 

I know they have groaned under bodily and mental 
t(Hl, and would gladly have been excused the prosecu- 
tion of their undertaking, could they have relinquished 
It with peace of mind, and retired to the enjoyment of 
domestic tranquillity and comfort 

Although this school may be considered the off- 
spring of the Adult School Society, or resulting from 
its laudable exertions, yet, strictl}^ speaking* it is not 
immediately a branch of that Institution : it has been 
established by the few females who have voluntarily 
and privately sought out those miserable objects, with 
the most benevolent design of effecting, if possible, 
their sincere reformation. That which may be called 
the public school, at present consists of ten or twelve 
learners ; who are not yet taken from their places of 
residence, and evil course of conduct Even these, it* 
is hoped, will be receiving from the good advice im- 
parted, and from hearing the Holy Scriptures seriously 
read, such impressions of mind as may, at some future 
period, prove a blessing to them. But there are others 
who have demonstrated sincere penitence, or evinced 
an earnest desire of being delivered from a course of 
Kfe that had rendered them truly wretched : these 
are placed in private lodgings, under the care and 
superintendence of orderly and discreet women, who 
have also felt interested in the restoration of these poor 
creatures to the paths of virtue. Those who are thus 
phiced out, are daily visited and instructed by one of 
the members of this little private society of females. 
The expenses of their board, lodging, &c. are defrayed 
by the tiberaUty of certaia individuab, who have lent 




their aid by pecuniaiy contributions. They have now 
about tweotj-three persons of this descriptiou under 
their care, of whom great hopes are entertained that 
they will never return to their former habits of vice 
and consequent wretchedness. Some others are resteer* 
ed to their relatives and friends, and have solemnly de- 
clared they would willingly live on the meanest food, 
and work hard for their support, rather than return to 
those direful abodes from which they were taken, and 
live, as before, on the wages of iniquity. 

In the contemplation of this undertaking, we can* 
not help picturing to ourselves Iniquity stalking the 
streets with daring effrontery ; whiM we behold, with 
pleasure and admiration, a little band ef virtuous fe- 
males, emboldened and enabled to hold up^ with Chris- 
tian nobility, a standard against it, wiUi simplicity, and 
with faith in the direction and support of Infinite Wis- 
dom and Power. 

When Christian benevolence is extending a helping 
hand to the poor and needy, and has for its ultimate 
object the moral and religious improvement of society, 
this is a class of our fellow-beings whose depravity is 
daily spreading its banefiil influence amongst the rising 
' youth, and consequently claims the especial attention ^ 
parents, as well as every good member of the communi- 
ty, to remove so crying, so destructive an evil,' and to 
rescue from' utter urin these miserable victims of Sa- 
tan. Little is the wretchedness of such objects known 
to those who are not actual witnesses of the unhappi- 
ness attendant upon their sinful course of life. Their 
history would, in roost instances, excite the strongest 
emotions of pity and disgust ; even the licentious, 
whose minds have not yet become callous to the better 
fejelings, have often shuddered at the sight Some idea 
of the depths of misery into which these poor debased 
creatures have plunged themselves, may be faintly coI^ 
ceived from reading the following lines, said to have been 
found in a miserable garret, in tide city of Glasgow, in 
the year 1810, after ^ decease of a young female, of 


superior connexioos and echieation, who became the 

victim of seductioD. 

*♦ When pamperM, starvM, abandon'd, or in drink, 
" My thoughts were rack'd in striving not to think ; 
" Nor could rejected conscience claim the pow'r 
** T' improve the respite of one serious hour. 
" I durst not look at what I was before ; 
** 3Iy soul shrunk back, and wish'd to be no more. 
" My eye undaunted, and of touch impure ; 
'/ Old, ere of age— worn out, when scarce mature ; 
** Baily debas'd to stifle my disgust 
** Of forc'd enjoyment in affiected lust ; 
'* Cover'd with guilt, infection, debt, and want— 
** My home a brothel, and the streets my haunt, 
' ** Till the full course of sin and vice gone through, 
" My shattered fabric fail'd at twenty-two : 
*' Then Death, with ev'ry horror in his train, 
** Here closed the scene of nought but guilt and pain I 
" Ye fair associates of my opening bloom, 
** Oh I come, and weep, and profit at my tomb ; 
*' Then shun the path where gay delui^ions shine — 
** Be yours the lesson — the sad experience mine." 

The peculiar Tenets of no one Sect of Christians to be 
introduced in these Schools. 

For the promotioo aed preservation of harmooy 
amongst persons of different religious sentiments, who 
are disposed to unite in the important work of educat- 
iqg the aduit poor, it will be found requisite cautiously 
to avoid making the school-rooms places of worship, 
^vherein tlie peculiar opinions of any society of Chris- 
tians may be inculcated, which would have a direct 


teodency to create jealousy, and uhimatel j afooUsli the 
InstitutioBS. The principles of the British and Foreign 
Bible Society, of sending out the Scriptures without 
note or comment, should be strictly adhered to ; for 
this reason, the Bible should be the only book read in 
there schools, and that without any explanation what- 
ever ; and no lesson should be used that contains a sen- 
timent not approved by every denomination of Chris- 
tains. All books containing disputed points of doctrine, 
are peculiarly exceptionable ; and no person should be 
allowed to distribute, amongst the learners, papers or 
pamphlets in which su<^h points are treated of, either 
openly or privately. There will be ample scope for 
advice, either verbal (mt in print, without bringing for- 
ward the peculiar and distinguishing sentiments of any 
sect. The learners should be left at full liberty to 
connect themselves with this or that society, whose 
principles they may judge to be most consistent with 
the precepts of the Gospel and the dictates of their own 
consciences; and to attend the place of worship be- 
longing to that society, to whose doctrines they may give 
the preference. 

The Bristol Adult School Society have thought pro- 
per to make it one of their standing rules — " That as it 
is highly expedient to implore the Divine blessing on our 
endeavours, these schools shall always op^ and con- 
clude with prayer." — ^With the deference due to the 
pious and zealous formers of the rules of this Institu- 
tion, I take the liberty of differing in opinion from them 
in respect to this requisition, the fulfilment of which k, 
of course, laid upon the conductors and conducti-esses. 
I am one in sentiment with them, that it is highly ex- 
pedient, and becoming us as dependent beings^ that we 
should implore the Divine blessing on all our laudable 
undertakings ; especially when th^ promotion of God's 
glory, or the religious benefit of our fellow-creatures, is 
the object of our pursuit ; but, according to my view of 
the subject, this should be a private, rather than a 
public exercise. Vocal prayers, offered up in these 


little assemblies, must be coosidered not 00I7 as public 
worship, but the most solemn of all devotiooal perfor- 
maDces ; aad this practice may, I coQceive, induce the 
learners to think it sufficient to. excuse them from pray- 
ing for themselves ; perhaps too, it would be a sketch 
of Christian charity to suppose that all those who may 
be qualified to discharge the duties of conductors or 
conductresses, are blessed with the gift or spirit of 
prayer, and authorized from above to become a mouth 
for others to that omniscient God, who fills the throne of 
majesty, mercy, and grace. Public supplication ap- 
pears to me too awful an engagement for any mortal to 
be employed in, on whom the Spirit of the living God 
b not really, and sensibly, and at the time poured out ; 
this requisite qualification is not at our command at peri- 
ods of our own appointing; if prayer is offered up 
without such an authority and qualification, haw can 
we expect it will ascend as acceptable incense to God, to 
whom all the nations of the earth are but as the dust that 
adheres to the balance* For these reasons, I think all 
that appears to ,me expedient on these occasions is, read- 
ing to the learners a portion of the Scriptures, at tlie 
opening and close of the schools. We are all enjoined, 
by the great Author of the Christian religion, to con- 
stant watchfulness and prayer ; in which every true be- 
liever will daily see and feel the necessity of being en- 
gaged, in the temple of his own heart. Access to the 
throne of Mercy, through the medium of supplication, 
is an especial favour from the Deity, and may be con- 
sidered as the highest privilege of man, on this side of 
the grav^; but an obtrusion into his presence, with 
minds unimpressed with an awful sense of his greatness 
and our own unworthiness, as well as a real feeling of 
what we stand in need of, is an offering which wants the 
salt of the covenant, the seasoning virtue of the Di- 
vine anointing ; and to those who make such offerings, 
may not the awful interrogation of the Prophet be applied 
— " Who hath required 2iis at your hands to tread my 
courtfr ?" 


I have eohirged upon thb subject, cooeeiving it to 
be ooe of qo tnvia] importance ; bat toward the pious 
friends of those Institutions, who diflfer from me in 
sentiment, I hope ever to cherish that cliarity which 
allows the free exercise of religious judgment, without 
thinking unkindly of them, or suffering any abatement 
of Christian love. 

Reading the Scriptures in the schools, besides the 
cultivation of religious knowledge, is attended with 
another obvious advantage, inasmuch as it gives the^ 
learners more correct i(«!eas of good reading, in respect 
to pronunciation, and laying the stress of the voice on 
those words tliat require it, in order to impress the 
hearers with a clear sense of what the sev^eral sentences 
imply, as well as the solemn manner in which the Scrip- 
tures should always be read. With this view, it will 
be requisite to select the best readers from amongst the 
teachers, provided the conductors themselves are not 
the best; which may sometimes be the case. 

Some Ohjectims to instructing the Poor consi4kr€d. 

An argument has been used, in less enlightened peri- 
ods llian the present^ which is not yet removed from 
the lips even of some from whom we might reasonably 
have expected agi-eaterdegi^e of penetration — ^that the 
system of education so extensively di£bsing amongst 
the poor of the present day, will have the injurious ten- 
dency of placing them above their stations in life ; and 
an opinion is actually cherished that, becomii^ dissatis- 
fied with their condition, there will not ultimately be 
found servants to fill the menial, domestic, and com- 
mercial employments; but that, aiming to be equal 
with their masters and mistresses, and excited by hu- 
man pride, there is a danger of their attempting to throw 
oil' all subordination to their superiors. 

We should naturally have supposed diat no person, 
capable of reflecting on the nature of human society^- 


itod the niutasJ clependaiice of the several rftnks and 
classes upoo each other, could possibly for a moinent 
entertaiD a fear of this kiad ; for, were men of the most 
splendid talents to form themselves into societies, pro- 
fessedly to eflfect such a destruction of ri^ht order, or 
n ciril equalization of mankind, others of inferior capa* 
cities mifiht laugh at their folly, and ridicule so ab* 
nurd, so cnimerical a project. The reciprocal depen- 
dence of the poor upon the rich for their support, and 
of the rich upon the poor for their labours, mu»t, through 
all progressive improvements, absolutely and necessari* 
ly exist ; and the duties which the several classes owe 
to each other, will be more cooscientiously regarded 
than could be expected in a state of ignorance and 
vice. Let the individuals who have indulged these 
gloomy apprehensions take a look at Scotland, where 
uie poor (in the low lands) are more extensively edu- 
cated than what is at present anticipated in this part oi 
the country — let them see whether the knowledge of let>* 
ten has produced those baneful consequences ; on the 
contrary, does there not exist a more cheerful submis- 
sion amongst the pocnr, to those in the h%her walks of 
life ; more industry, more economy, more contentment ; 
and are they not also more truirt-worthy, because less 
ignorant, and consequently less criminal, than tlie poor 
of England?—- Being educated, they are capaUe of 
reading, and acquiring an enlargement of mind, which 
qualifies them to form a clearer judgment of men and 
things, and more Justly appreciate the moral character. 
I have never understood that pride is more prevalent 
in the poor of Scotland than of England ; it is the mean 
offspring of ignorance : ignorance of ourselves — igno- 
rance of true religion, of which humility is one of the 
strongest characteristics ; aoil the knowledge of tlie 
sacred Scriptures^ that fountain whence we draw reli- 
gious instruction, should ever go hand in hand with all 
our plans for instilling knowledge. When the precepta 
of virtue and morality are implanted in the minds of 


the poor, especially, if cheri^ied by good examples la 
the rich, we shall certainly have nothiog to fear from 
the educatioD of our Bervants, and of the mass of la- 
bouring poor. If servants should become more virtu- 
ous than their masters, aud the pious example of tliese 
should influence the minds of their superiors, or put to 
shame the more irreligious conduct of their employers, 
I trust no evil consequences to society, or to indivi^- 
duals, need be apprehended from such an event 

What benefits, what comforts can a master antici- 
pate from the services of illiterate domestic or other 
servants, that he could not expect to enjoy from the 
same, if they were better informed, or their minds 
opened by a more virtuous cultivation ? —If he should 
entertain an opinion that, in consequence of their igno- 
rance, they will be more likely to submit to unreasonable 
hardships imposed upon them, or that such will best suit 
him in the transactions of a nefarious commerce, his 
motive is base and dishonourable. But, lamentable as 
it may be, there are, unquesti6nably, men of this de- 
scription ; enriching themselves at the expense of other 
men's comfort, in a course of trade replete with cir- 
cumstances flagrantly inconsistent with that integrity 
which the pure spirit of Christianity inspires, and which 
stands directly opposed to the inculcation of morality 
and virtue in the labouiiog classes, wbp are exposed to 
the influence of these corrupt examples. 

Although an equalization of the various ranks of 
civil society, in regard to secular concerns, can never 
take place, at least in the present state of mankind, 
yet there is a Christain equalization, which would tend 
greatly to^ promote Uie happiness of the world at large, 
and this is the direct tendency of the religion of our 
Holy Redeemer, who himself, great and exalted as he 
was, condescended to wash his disciples' feet. The 
Gospel of our ever adorable Lord and Master teaches 
us to consider all men as the children of one common ' 
Father, heirs of the same hope, designed to live on 
earth as brethren, to be governed by that spirit of 


Christian love which gives us an interest in eac& 
others present and future well-being, and SnaUy, to be 
eternal co-residents in the Paradise of God. 

If the professors of Christianity were really ac- 
tuated by the pure spirit of its divine Author, tlie rich 
would feel themselves charged with an important 
trust; they would be the tender, the benevolent, the 
sympathizing guardians of the poor; theur minds im- 
pelled by the duties of such a guardianship " to visit 
the sick, the fatherless, and the widows, and to keep 
themselves unspotted from the world." They would be 
disposed to act in unisan with the counsel given by the 
great Apostle of the Gentiles — " Charge them that arc 
rich in this world, that they be not Wgh* minded, nor 
.trust in their uncertain riches, but in the living God, 
who. giveth richly all things to enjoy ; that they do 
good, that they be rich in good works ; ready to dis•^ 
tribute ; willing to communicate." 

Considerations on the Advantages of AduU Education, 

Whilst we rejoicingly acknowledge what has been 
. done by preceding generations, in erecting and endow- 
ing hospitals for the sick, alms*houses for the aged 
. and infirm, seminaries for the young, with many other 
highly useful Institutions, which reflect honour on the 
British character, let us not be unmindful of tlie state 
of lamentable ignorance still prevalent amongst the 
adult poor ; . a class of our fellow-creatures who have 
^pent their time and strength to procure for us those com* 
flirts, we so plentifully enjoy : they have built our houses, 
cultivated our fields, carried our burdens ; they have 
mirsed in sickness our parents, ourselves^ our children, 
' and our children's children, whilst they have obtained 
. for themselves but a bare subsistence from week to 
week. These have an unquestionable claim upon us ; 
gratitude and justice demaad a retttrn^ and that too in 


vhat will be more eflsentially and pcnnanently Bervice- 
able to them than gold or silver — the knowledge of the 
sacred Scriptures ; that thty may know for themseivea 
the God ot aH grace and consolation. This is indeed 
durable riches and righteousness ; to these will be 
given power to overcome the corrupt spirit of the 
world, and a right to the tree of life, that stands in the 
midst of the Paradise of God. This will sweeten every 
bitter cup, smooth the roughest paths of human life> 
and render their heavy burdens comparatively light 

The aged poor can have but a little mare time 
before them, and the consideration that they are far 
too ignorant of the Gospel promises and doctrines of 
our blessed Redeemer, calk loudly upon us to engage 
in this labour of love, without farther procrastinatioB, 
lest they go down to the grave without a knowledge 
of those things on which their eternal happiness de« 

^^ In human hearts what holder thought can rue, 
" Than man's presumption on to-morrow's dawn ?^ 

If we are believers in the Gospel declaration, that 
^' righteousness exalteth a nation,*' we must necessarily 
infer, that a righteous nation has great reason to hope for 
the protecting arm of Omnipotence from the devasta- 
tion of the sword, the pestilence, and famme ; doas it 
not become an individual interest, as well as incumbent 
duty, to contribute our best endeavours to promote so 
momentous and so good a work ? — does it not demand 
the dedication of a portion of the time and proper^ 
with which we have been blessed f 

The important advantages expecteil to result fiom 
educating the poor of both sexes, have already been so 
forcibly stated by much abler writers of the present 
day, that it probably, in the estimation of many, woetd 
render it unnecessary to occupy the public attention 
with any thing I may herein offer, on the subject favour- 
able to the general cause; yet the consideration that 
this little work may Ail into the ha&ds of a sumber 


of persoDs, if ho have not perused what has been pre* 
viously wrkten, has excited a hope in the mind of its 
author, that this portion of labour will not be altogether 

Annexed to the printed Rules of tlie Bristol Royal 
Lancasterian Free School for Girls, are a few observa- 
tions, worthy of being more widely disseminated than 
amongst the Eubscribers to that laudable Institution ; 
with this view I give them an insertion here. 

'* The Committee can hardly suppose it necessary, 
at this time, to bring forward arguments to prove the 
benefits which would result to the community in gene- 
ral, from the universal education of the poor. But the 
following facts are so important, that it would be in- 
consistent with their duty not to call the attention of 
the public to them. 

^' By a comparison of the criminal calendars of 
England and Scotland, laid before Parliament, it is 
found, that criminal oiTences are eleven times more 
frequent in England in equal portions of the popula- 
tion, than they are in Scotland ! — These countries are 
governed by the same laws, and influenced by the 
same manners. What then constitutes the difference ? 
In Scotland, tlie poor are educated — in England, they 
are not. 

" Of the many thousand children which have been 
educated in Christ's Hospital, and in Lancaster'^s School, 
in the Borough Road, it is not known that ofie was ever 
arraigned at a criminal bar. And it has been ascer- 
tained by an examination of the prisons in London, 
instituted by one of the Sheriffs, that, of the crimiuah 
contained in them, the natives of Ireland were the 
most numerous ; of England the next ; and incompa- 
rably the fewest were natives of Scotland. The num- 
bers thus bearing an exact proportion to the means 
provided in each countiy for the instruction of the 

*' The philanthropist will not disregard facts so 
striking, nor be deaf to a call of duty so imperious. He 


will not refuse a small pecuniary aid, to rescue the 
Female Poor of this city from a state of ignorance ; the 
fruitful parebt of those crimes which are ameuable at 
ao earthly bar, as well as of the vices which are cog- 
sizable by no human tribunal." 

Imperious indeed is the call of duty on all whom 
the great Creator has been pleased to furnish with the 
means of promoting a scheme so pregnant with bless- 
ings to society in general, which can never be duly 
appreciated ; and whilst we applaud the pious and 
benevolent for what they have generously done, and are 
still doing for the rising generation, let us not turn a 
deaf ear to the lamentations of those in advanced age, 
suifering unutterable loss from the neglect of their 

The aged instructiqg the young *is a sight familiar 
to us all ; but we have lately beheld a scene much^ 
more affecting — ^tbe child sitting on his grands-father's 
fcnee, instructing him in the use of the alphabet Here, 
hoary age feels and laments the want of learning, and 
condescends to receive it from the juvenile exertions of 
his third generation. 

The aggregate number ^ persons in this country, 
who, owing to their inability to read, are deprived o£ 
the inestimable advantage of perusing the most in- 
stmctive of all book« — the sacred Scriptures, I appre- 
Jiend to be much greater than is generally conceived ; 
perhaps the reader will be surprised whea he is ibfonn- 
ed, " It has been computed that in England alone there 
are not less than one million two hundred thousand grovfn 
persons, who, through poverty or negligence of their 
parents, have never been taught to read. Such persons, 
it ahould be recollected, are not only incapable of 
filling many stations in society for which they miglit 
otherwiiie be qualified, but are cut off from all per- 
sonal access to the Holy Scriptures, that fountain of 
religious and moral instruction." — In the Highlands 
and Islands of Scotland, the picture is still more de- 
plorable, ootwithstandiqg the diffusion of education 


itmoagst the poor inhabitaoto of the low-laDds. From 
the first Annaal Report of the Society in Ediobui^h, 
for the support of the Gaelic school ia the Highiandt 
and Islands of ScotlaiuK it appears, that the number of 
persons in those parts who cannot read, amounts to 
Dearly three hundred thousand t — It also appears, " In 
an Address by the Secretary of the Society for pro- 
moting Christian Knowledge, delivered in 1803, at the 
Crown and Anchor Tavern, in London, that out of 
three hundred and thirty-five thousand persons in the 
Highlands, it was computed that three hundred thou- 
sand understood no other language than Gaelic, so far 
at least as not to compreliend a book written, or a 
continued discourse spoken, in any otiier." 

In a report made by the Committee of the Edin- 
bui^h Society, the 15th of January, 1811, is the follow- 
ing paragraph : 

" From the ejcperience of several / successive years, 
one of our number can inform you, as the result of actual 
esperiment, that among the nunierous baodg who come 
southward in the time of harvest to reap our fields, he 
has not found one in ^^» capable of reading the simplest 
passages of sacred Scripture. This, however, is now 
kfiowQ to be a favourable specimen of the country : 
the inhalntants of many populous districts beii)g much 
more illiterate. In some of these, not tme in sixt^^ and 
iu others, not one in a hundred can read : nay, the 
Committee are informed of various places where it is 
impossible to find mie person among several kundreds^in 
a better condition ! In a letter relating to one parish, 
of which a melancholy account will be read, the Clergy- 
man says, that out of four thousand inhabitants, pejrhaps 
hardly seven hundred possess even a smattering of 
book knowledge ! In a tract of ten or twelve miles, 
well peopled, there may not be found a single indi- 
vidual capable of reading either English or Gaelic — 
and these are situated from fourteen to tweuty-five 
miles distant bom the parish church 1^' 


In the Report dated the 29th of November in the 
same year, it is stated, that " The returns made by the 
Clergymen of different parishes, fully confirm all that 
had been feared by individuals belonging to the Society. 
This will appear by the mention of a few parishes, theiT 
population, and tlie number incapable of reading in 

*' On the Main Land. 

In the Parish of Fearn, out of 1500, 1300 unable to read. 

Gairloch, £945, 2349 ---- 

Lochbroom, -^-4000, 3S00 

" In the Islands. 

In the Parish of Kilmuir, Skye, 3056, 2T18 - 

Stornoway, Lewe8,4000, 2800 - 

Hams, 3000, 2900- 

And in «-•- North Uist, 4000, dSOO- 

** Thus, out of 22,501,-19,367 are incapable of 
reading either English or Gaelic ; and many otheir 
parishes might be mentioned in a state equally desti- 
tute. Comieeted with this melancholy fact, it must be 
observed, that the portion who arc able to read, 
reside in or near the district where a school is taught ; 
^ut in the remote glens, or subordinate islands of almost 
every parish, few or none can be found who know- 
even the letters." 

In perusing several of the Reports of the Stock- 
port school, I have been struck with the judicious 
observations contained in the preliminai-y pages of 
those annual productions, intended to point out the 
beneficial effects expected to result to society at large 
from the education of the rising generation, for whom 
was established this noble Institution ; which not only 
reflects the greatest honour on its patrons, managers, 
and subscribers, but on the character of tiie British 
nation. As many of these observations are equally 
applicable to the schools of adult persons, I have con- 
sidered the following selection well calculaied to pro- 
mote the object of my ardent wishes in this little 


^ The pn>s|;«fitf of a eMe de|iefi<l» ap<m Hs iotar* 
nal peace, and its peace k secured by knowledge, and 
especially by Christian kacmledge. That society whiek 
is ofteu disturbed — ^that in which the labour of the 
huslmiidiaaQ is in danger of being torn from him by 
the hand of violence,- is air ignorant society. The 
well-instructed peasant knows that, to rise aboT« pov^ 
erty, be must live in peace. Mark the* effects of ijeroo* 
ranee on a sister country, and let her experience direct 
our conduct.—^ In all our perils,^ says an able writet 
oQ the state of Ireland^ ' the real danger is in those 
who cannot read ; the real seeurity in those who 

^ Ignorant men unite to plunder, but never to pse* 
tect. Their friendship is witiiottt security ; tlieip 
enmity without mercy. Ignorance is 'the baoe of 
society r it is the greatest Ibe against which a oatioA 
l^as to contend — destroy its reign, and a tymnt falls* 
Who is the midnight murderer ? — Who are the diiN 
turbers of the peace ? — Are they the welUiustructed f 
— Against whom is the strong hand of the magfistrate^ 
iiplifed ? — Aganistthe man who knows his duty? Nof 
Imt against him "whom igRorance has made brutish.-^ 
Whore is the person that will plead for Ignorance af 
for Virtue ? — Who will say that she is the mother of 
devotion ; or the source of subordmation P-^Sbe is tho 
mother of no good thing. Bigoliry and superstitioit 
are her offspring. She is the parent ef cruelty, anil 
the nurse of crimes* Head, in the history of the world* 
the e^cts of ignorance. The wandenng Afab, tht 
fterce and babarous Indisc, are what they are from 
ignorance. Englmid, when barbarous^ was the abode 
cf misery : every man's hand was lifted agdnst hia 

" The happiness of every rank in society is prCk 
noted by reciprocal services ; for, the prosperity of one 
part is the foundation and security of the prosperity of 
the other. A landowner increases his revenuef whmi 
tds tenanta thrive* Skilful workmen vais^ ifthtf 4<» 


not cteaie^ the repiitaHon of thdr empb^ren ; aDit mea 
are skilful ia proportion to their iDtelligeoce. When a 
prince is emulous of great distinction and high homouia, 
he can only acquire tliem by enlightening his subjects; 
History, indeed^ is fiiU of evidence that the prosperity^ 
of a state hegins at the cottage. Hence, the infhience 
of our own country is so fliateriaUy affected by the 
state of its manufactories. And why does Great Bri* 
tain, in this respect, excel eyery other nation ? Ia it 
net because we surpass those of the North in intclli^ 
gence, and those of the South'in industry ? — Our indus- 
try is connected with our civilization ; civilization 
creates wants, which industry supplies : while barba- 
rous people are averse- to labour, and seek the supply 
of their necessities by rapine and fraud." 

That Crimea djkninisb in prq>ortion to the cultiva* 
tion of knowledge, has been already urged ; in addition 
to the proob before adduced, '^ In one of the protest- 
ant Cantons of Switzerland, the poor were so well in- 
structed that the executioner was called upon to per- 
form his hateful office but once in the long space of 
twenty years. ^ Such are some of the fruits of know* 
ledge, which ripen into an immediate harvest, and am- 
ply repay the cultivator." 

*^ But there is another and a better motive for in« 
structing the ignorant, than merely the peace of socie- 
ty — ^it is their reli^ous improvement. Education raises 
a man above the mean and base practices to which the 
temptations and hardships of. life might otherwise ex- 
pose him ; but religion renders him actively good. lu 
this school he cannot learn too much ? — Where is the 
christian who knows too much ? — Where is he by whom 
the summit of knowledge can be contemplated ? — Ever 
rising, it terminates in Omniscience ! In him dweHetk 
dU msdom and knowledge^ 

«' Instruction increases the happiness of the poor. A 
cottager, in the midst of his family, reading his Bible, 
feels a satisfaction and a joy which the unlettered peasant 
eitfuiot taste. Delight gladdens the face of the one. 


ivhile Ihe heart of the other cannot in this waj be made 
better. Igoorance is sullen and envious : it is the 
blast and mildew of the soul ; but the man who reads 
the Scriptures is taught, in whatever state he is, therC'- 
with t^he cmUent ; — he is taught that riches do not ere* 
ate happiness, and that poverty does not make miser a« 
ble ; that his Master had not whereon to lajf his head, 
and therefore he ought not to complain." 

In the education of children, a preference seems to 
be generally given to boys ; but in the Adult Schools, 
we. have been equally desirous of cultivating the female 
mind. ^' A woman^s information influences the present 
comfort and future state of her family. If her house 
be well ordered, the husband forsakes the alehouse, and 
where there would have been want, there is. plenty. 
The cottager is rich whose wife is cleanly, economical, 
and able to conduct the affairs of her little fiimily with 
judgment It is the mother who instructs the children : 
to her they look up for all they want ; and, in gene* 
ral, as she is, so are they. In the first seven years of^ 
life, a great bias is given to the character ; and, during 
this period, the mother^s influence is every thing." ^ 

" Man, in a savage or uncultivated state, is alike an 
object of compassion to the friend of humanity^ wheth* 
er he tread with ferocious inflependence the plains of 
Africa, or the wilds of America — whether be bend, in 
blind adoration, bt^fore the dark superstitions of ttie east ; 
or wilfully close his eyes ami<l the bright effulgence of 
divine truth, which at present enlightens the civilized 
parts of Europe. As children of one family, and de- 
ecendents from the same source, the benevolent in all 
ages have acknowledged their affinity, and sought to 
lessen the accumulated evils attendant on human nature^ 
of whatever cast or colour ; *' for there is no difference 
between Jew and Greek ; for the same Lord over all, is 
rich unto all that call upon him ' In vain, then, does 
the inhuman possessor of slaves exclaim that the help- 
less victim who smarts beneath his lash^ is an inferior 


aAimal, apd that his feetii^ may be sfitnted with at 
pleasure. To no purpose has the refined philosopher 
laboured to prove that the sable African occupies a low- 
er station in the scale of being than himself ; existio^ 
facts having confuted these erroneous decisions, aod 
fully declared them to be without foundation."^ 

'* It is the slow progressive worlK of civilization aloB^ 
which c n conquer the force of deep rooted prejudices^ 
aod abolish degrading habits and customs. It is this, 
aided by the powerliil influence of religion, that must 
subdue the reigning lusts and passions, before those fioCT 
ties can be established which link society together iff 
one Gommofl bond of union, and form the distinguishiQip 
characteristic of an enlightened nation. Experience has 
proved that where these advantages have b^en introdu- 
ced, the natives, eroei^ng from barbarism, have yielded 
to instruction, and given the most satisfactory assursenoe* 
of a mild aod teachable disposition. Of their improve- 
ment indeed, a more decisive, though painful proof ea»- 
not be given, than the superior price which a coaverted 
i^ve always beara in a coloiiial uiarket." 

** We can, imteed, confidently assert^ that no forra^p 
period has afforded such efficient means for the dissefni" 
nation of moral and religious knowledge amoiig the lowef 
elassea, as the present ; and the best results may be ex<* 
pected from such a general coalition in the glorioua 
scheme. The doubts and fears of those who^ first oppo* 
sed their instruction, as liable to prove destructive to^ 
subordioation, have gradually subsided ; aod the eham<^ 
pions of ignorance, ashamed of their cause, have cai^ 
away their arms and retired from the field. If the peo*^ 
pie are left ignorant of their duty to God, and their moral 
•bligationa to each other, no wonder if they inhringe on 
the peace of society. But shew them the goodness of 
that indulgent Being who sheds blessings , upon us, un» 
known to any other nations; teach them, to obey the 
government under which they live, and the necessity of 
submitting themsdtves to tlie laws made for fte reguk* 


lion and benefit of all rankfi of societ)^ and they will 
tbaDkiiiliy obey Uiem."* 

The Advantages ef Education m a Secular Point of 

If we consider the advantages, in a secular point of 
▼lew, to society at large, that must be expected to result 
from an universal education of the poor, it certainly 
alTords an additional inducement to exert our energies 
to effect this great object. The divine Creator has, for 
wise and beneficial purposes^ bestowed on man an end- 
Itss variety of talents, which, when brought into action, 
are productive of new discoveries ; from whence spring 
many improvements in the arts and sciences, adding, 
from time to time, fresh articles for manufacture — new 
sources of employment for our poor, and consequently, 
an extension of our commerce. It is well known that 
many labouring artists and manufacturers have evinced 
a genius for improvement ; and not a few of the most 
important and profitable discoveries have been made 
by unlettered men of strong minds, whose active and 
inventive talents might have shone with still more con* 
spicuous splendor, had they been blessed with even a 
humble education ; and thereby qualified for reading 
the experiments of others, and ascertaining the mechanic* 
al, chemical, or philosophical principles of the arts or 
sciences to which they have directed their attention. 

* The several quotations following the sixty-fourth page, have 
been selected from ihe reports of the * Stockport Sunday School.*' 
According to the report published Midsummer 1812 (the lapt I 
have seen,) the number of children in that Institution was 3,455 ; 
and the total number on the Register book, from it;< commence- 
ment to that time, is 16,930. — I hope the patrons and friends of 
tb^t Institution will excuse the liberty 1 have taken with tlieir 
publications, for the benefit of the general cause of educating 
ihe poor. •* 


It is not easy, or I should rather say, it is impossi- 
ble to estimate the mass of genius and useful talent that 
has, through preceding generations, been lost bj the 
ignorance which lias hitherto existed amongst the loirer 
classes. Many a man, possessed of a bright understand- 
ing, lias gone down to the grave with his talents unim- 
proved, because unemployed ; had such the privilege of 
education, how useful might they have been made to so- 
ciety ! for, it is education that gives full activity to gen- 
ius, and renders it capable of expansion. 

What advantages, then, may we not anticipate from 
the general education, which the active benevolence of 
a liberal public is now promoting amongst these neglec- 
ted classes of our fellow-men. Although no very con- 
spicuous benefits, in respect to the arts, can be expected 
from the instruction of persons far advanced in life, it 
should be remembered, that the greater proportion of the 
learners admitted into the Adult Schools, are in the 
prime of their days ; and not a few of those may be 
ranked amongst the young ; that is, from the age of six- 
teen to twenty -five. 

This, as well as many other subjects touched upon io 
the present publication, would admit of considerable 
amplification, were it not that it would swell the work 
beyond the bounds I have prescribed, and have a ten^ 
dency to restrain its circulation. 

Schools at Ipswichj Bungay^ and Yarmouth. 

A highly respectable author of a paragraph in the 
Suffolk Chronicle, for December 4, 1813, says, '* We 
lately announced that it was in contemplation to estab- 
fisli a school in this town (Ipswich,) tor the instruction 
of women, and have now the pleasure of informing our 
readers that the plan has been carried into eflfrct. On 
the day fixed for admission, forty-nine applications were 
jrcceived, since which they have ^Qcreased to eighty. 


Seventy-four persons, of various ages (trom fifteen to 
seventy^ve) have been admitted ; and are taught to 
read and write. The progress of some is already very 
considerable ; and a degree of emulation, scarcely to 
have beea expected, exists throughout the school. Six 
ladies attend every evening, as monitors to the respec- 
tive classes ; and the school^ established upon the plan of 
Mr. Lancaster, is conducted with the greatest order and 
r^ularity* It is almost unnecessary to add, that, from 
tiie constant and unremitting attention of the committee, 
not Only the most sanguine expectations have been re- 
alized, but the future prospect continues to be most 

" The men's school, established here some time since, 
aiTords also the greatest satisfaction. There are now 
sixty persons upon the list, whose progress in writing is 
particularly remarked : several, who could not form a 
letter when they came into the school, having acquired 
a good hand. We cannot forbear to give the following 
inj^ce of the success of a small school, of the same 
kjH^^fftablished at Bury, in May last: — A. converted 
Se^^f/fho is upwards ot eighty )^ears of age, did not 
know, when he came into the school, a letter in the al- 
ptiabet ; but, in two months, he could read tolerably well 
a chapter in the New Testament ;— a young man, about 
twenty years of age, who had some knowledge of the 
letters when he was admitted, but was not perfect in 
them, in four months was able to read a chapter well ; — 
a woman, sixty-one years old, who did not know a sin- 
gle letter when she begun, in two months could also 
read a chapter in the New Testament.* What a sub- 
ject of pleasing reflection must these reports afford ! 
Thousands that remained in darkness and ignorance, 

* " To this instance may be added one, at Manchester, which 
will excite no small admiration : — A poor VToman wanting (to 
use herown expression) * only two years of a hundred,' goes daily 
to the boys' school establirfied there, for one thousand and fifty 
children, to receive. instruction from one of the monitors, and 
she readi in an audible manner to the school." 


may now be taught to read the Bible ! Much has been 
clone to secure this blessiug to the rising geoeratioo, 
aHd mucli remains to be done ; yet, whilst we keep 
this object in view, let us not forget those that are b^ 
hind, but lend them also our friendly aid. If the ut- 
most were done to effect what has now been proved to 
be so practicable^ how soon would the pious wish of our 
venerable Monarch be realized, not only towards every 
poor chilfly but every poor person within his dominions !*' 

From Bungay, in Suffolk, the account I have re- 
ceived is defective as to number of learners, but very 
satisfartoiy in respect to the effects produced. " Zeal, 
order, and religious improvement, have been discovered 
in most of the scholars ; and, in some, in a very great 
degree." — They are taught there not only on the first 
day of the week (Sunday,) but in the evenings of other 

The account received from Yarmouth, in the county 
of Norfolk, is as follows : — " In July, 1813, a few 
young persons formed a plan for instructing the adult 
poor of Yarmouth in reading the Scripture^^lfce 
Friends' Meeting House was granted them hr ^B^^^* 
room, every Sunday evening, from six to eight o'clock. 
As many persons were deemed admissible, about sixteen 
years of age, of both sexes, as the rooms would accom- 
modate. The number of scholars soon amounted to 
thirty, instructed by eight teachers, chosen from tlie 
body of persons who first proposed the Institution. 
The scholars gave the greatest satisfaction to their in- 
structors, by their progress and conduct. Hence, the 
Committee were incfuced to endeavour to enlarge their 
plan. The success of the school at Ipswich, excited 
he desire to establish a similar one in Yarmouth. The 
Committee, therefore, resolved to engage large rooms, 
fit them up with desks, and open the school three tiroes'' 
a week ; adding instruction in writing to that of reading 
the Holy Scriptures. These resolutions have been car- 
ried into effect ; the present number of scholars is about 
eighty— above forty males, and thirty females. The 

males are chiefly under twenty years of age, none above 
fifty ; the femeJes are of all ages, from treaty to 
ftfty." — As die schools on the enlai^d scale have been 
recently established, tlie writer of the letter declines 
giving any opinion upon their general influence ; but says 
ne has nc^ ^' the smallest fear but that the greatest good, 
as to moral habits, as well as general improvemeat of 
the scholars, will be the result." — One circumstance, 
deserving of particular notice in the lustttutions at 
Yarmouth, is — they originated with, are entirely con- 
ducted, and cluefly supported by young persons. 

On Teaching to Write. 

The introduction of writing into the schools has, by 
some well-disposed individuals, been strongly objected 
to ; and a few of those have actually i-efused their sub* 
seriptioos iu support of such schools as have adopted 
this branch of learning ; grounding their refusal upon 
a religious scruple to what, they conceive, has a ten- 
dency to secularize the day of tlie week on whicli 
these schools are generally held ; added to this, another 
(Ejection is advanced, horn a political consideration, 
tiiat of placing the poor above titeir conditions in life, 
as well as putting into the hands of these a power, 
which may lie employed to tlic iojury of societ) — tlte 
art of forgery. 

They who have feared th^ secularizing effect, have 
lurged the probability of those learners, at a fu'ure 
period, devoting their time, on this particular day of 
ttie week, to the exercise of their pens in transacting 
temporal concerns; and that if a consistent Christian 
sbould admonish them on this subject, they may say in 
justification of their conduct, that it was on this very 
day the professors of Christianity taught them to write. 
It is not difficult to apply the same reasoning to teach- 
iDg Ihem^ to lead^ 2sbA way they may employ their time 


oa that clay, in reading books calculated to corrupt 
their moral and religious principles, as well as habits. 
The ^ hole system of school teaching is abstractedly a 
secular employment ; and, if that consideratioQ is a 
sufficient objection to rvriting, it will be to reading alsa, 
ivhicfa, if admitted, has a direct tendency to abolish 
the whole of what a great part of the Christian world 
IS now ardently embracing. It is a secular employ- 
ment, but for a religious purpose ; and I think it would 
be wrong to object, because a temporal advantage at- 
taches to it. Respecting the tendency to place the 
poor above their stations, there will, it is presumed, be 
DO occasion for any thing being said in this place, as 
the subject has been considered under its proper head- 
That teaching the poor to write, would be placing 
in their hands a power of committing forgery, is d sen- 
timent which it is to be hoped need not occasion any 
alarm to the public mind. It cannot be expected that 
in these humble seminaries they will be made complete 
penmen ; or that they should arrive at that degree of 
perfection that is required to exercise the atrocious 
practice in question. But why should tlie objection be 
supposed to apply to those called Sunday Schools, any 
more than to any other charitable Institution for edu* 
eating the poor ? If this objection be admissible in the 
first case, it must also be in the second ; and would 
have the deplorable tendency to refuse this advantage- 
ous branch of educatiou to the whole mass of 3ie 

If we have good reason to apprehend, which T trust 
we have, that the universal education of the indigent 
classes of society, will have a powerful tendency to 
mpralize and Christianize those who are the objects of 
our cultivation, there will be no need whatever to an- 
ticipate the bfliieful consequences suggested hy those 
who can scarcel} be supposed to have considered the 
subject, with all its points and bearings. 

Writing is not, however, introduced generally into 
the Adult Schools $ there is but a solitary iofttaoce of it 


io Ae Bcbopis belonging to the Bristol Society. Tliit 
school, which is for women, is but recently established, 
and it is left entirely to the learner's choice, whether 
to undertake this branch or not ; though, out of about 
sixty learners, there are only two who have declined it, 
and that from their advanced age. 

It is not from considering the secular advantages^ 
to the learners that writing is introduced ; but from 
what we have experienced in another school, establish- 
ed for juvenile scholars, we have been fully convinced 
that the practice of writing is an excellent means of 
improving them in spelling, and consequently, of greatly 
facilitating tlieir learning to read ; and the main force 
of our arguments, in favour of teaching adults to write, 
rests upon this ground. I may also oteerve, that when 
the learners have advanced to joining-hand, instructive 
Scripture texts are placed before them, which being 
written over and over again, six 6r eight times on the 
slate, it becomes much more indelibly impressed on 
their memories than by hearing them read ; and thus it 
is an important means of promoting our great object — 
extending the knowledge of the Scriptures. In writing, 
there h the exercise of a mechanical, as well as a 
mental operation, each tending to fix those religious 
truths in the mind, which may become subjects of fu- 
ture and instructive contemplation ; this will be like- 
ly to inculcate a regard for the Sacred Records among 
those by whom they had never been duly valued. 

There are other considerations which favour the 
introduction of writing ; to relate these at large would 
i>ccupy more room than I am disposed to allot for the 
purpose. , Let us suppose, for a moment, that, some of 
these learners are, or may become true ChristiaDS, 
deeply experienced in the work of redemption, and 
may wish to commit to paper their religious reflections, 
their sentiments, and the exercises of their minds ; or to 
impart serious counsel to an absent relative ; or to leave 
something in manuscript for the benefit of their fellow- 
dEeatiures : to, be able to perform these duties is a q[uaii- 


ficatioD we lAould certaiolj wish e^fery Cliristian to 

possess ; and the want of it might be a serious loss to J 
lodividualfl, or to society- more at large. ' 

Progress of the Scholars in learning to r^ad, nithsome 
of the beneficial effects airea^ produced on the mom^ 
character of the labouring poor. 

Iq the tenth Month (October,) 1813, John Owen, 
the well known Secretary of the British and Foreign 
liibje Society in London, being in Bristol, was de&ijx)iia 
of visiting sttine of the Adult Schools : at his request, I 
accompanied him^ first to the one in Rosemaiy-street, 
for the iustmction of women, where we procured the 
attendance of six females, all adraoced iu years, who 
had been wholly instructed in these humble seminarieSt 
that he might be himself a witness of the striking pro* 
gress they had made in a short space of time : the 
woman aged eighty-five, mentioned in a former page, 
who has only one eye, and that but dim, read audibly* 
the sixth cjiapter of the Revelations, (upon which she 
o[)€ued accidentally;) she had before read to a public 
congregation, at a Chapel in this city, to general satis- 
taction. Each of the six afforded much pleasure to 
about tliirty visiters then present ; and it produced a 
very encouraging effect upon the learners in this newly 
established school. I should particularly notice one of 
the six persons brought here on this occasion : she 
read pai;t of a chapter in the New Tastament, with 
peculiar excellence ; not only with ease and fluency, 
but placed her accents and the stress of her voice with 
remarkable, and, I may add, with unexceptionable 
accuracy ; indeed, she seemed to understand and feel 
the 10^^ of the subject. Upon being asked, if it was 
not a comfort to her to be able to read that good book, 
«--«he repliedy with tears flowing down her cheeks. 



^^ O t yen.Sh', it is the greatest comfort I have ia this 
iiForld," — 1 hope I ehall uot be discredited when I in- 
^ form the public that this woman did Dot know her let^ 
ters eight weeks before she was able to read the Testa^^ 
meat, but she had availed herself of some occasional 
opportunities of instruction in the course of the week. 

»om this school we were conducted, by William 
Smith, to several others ; ' and heard many of the 
learners read a few verses each, much to our satisfac- 
tion. In one oi these, was a man eighty-eight years of i 
age, advanced from his alphabet to spelling words of " 
two syllables, and anxious for improvement ; who, we 
were informed by the conductor, was much improved 
in his moral charieicter since attemiing ther^ as a 
learner. Another man, in the same room, was private* ^ 
)y pointed out to us, as having lived unlawfully with a 
woman for the space of twenty years ; but, since his 
attendance in the school, he has been so convinced of 
the sinfulness of his conduct as to induce him to marry 

The beneficial effects of Adult Schools are farther 
evinced, by the much more constant attendance of the 
learners at their several places of divine worship, their 
serious deportment when there, their increased atten- 
tion to personal cleanliness ; as well as the instances of 
drunkards becoming temperate, and profeine swearers 
forsaking their sinful habits. 

If those who knew the late condition of the wretch- 
ed inhabitants of Cock-road, that fountain of impurity 
and den of thieves (about four miles from Bristol,) di^ 
graceful to a civilized country, were to visit it now, on 
the first day of the week, at the time of holding the 
schools, they would be witnesses of au evident change 
already prj^duced, where they have been opened for 
instruction not more than a few months. The very 
place where several parish roads, or rather lanes, meet, 
called by thent the Exchange, the spot where the gangs 
of robbers have been accustomed to assemble, to delib- 
emte upon and settle their plans of iK>cturQal depre;- 


dbitioB, U now the gimnd where the poor oC that dis- 
trict collect to worship their great Creator ; it is there 
the tears of contrition wacdi the wrinkled cheeks of 
age, and the supplications of sinners ascend to tiie 
God <rf' inere^ for pardon, throng Christ Jesus, tlieir 
alUsufiicient Mediator. I am tar from intending by 
the foregoing description, to assert that this is not still 
the place 5 rendezvous for men who have 4ong been 
the terror of the sarnMuxUog country, and tiife spot 
where they assemhle to share the vptAh of those depre- 
dations. I can hy no means say the robbers themselves 
are reclaimed ; but is there not reason at least to hope 
that this may ultimately be the case, when we see their 
wivfis, theif children, their Jess iniquitous neighlMNirs^ 
eager to promote and attend these schools, and the 
worsinp of that God, at whose tribunal they mt»t i^ortly 
appear. The learners are also much more decent in 
their appearance, and decorous in their deportment. 
If these unhappy creatures, who live by stealing, are 
not themselves reformed, the visible improvement al- 
ready produced, cannot hut afford us a consc^g hope 
that succeeding generations will be happily preserved 
from sinking into the same deplorable state of m&nl 
turpitude. Should the cheerful sacrifices of the benev- 
olent^'-^hould the toilsome exertions of Clnristiaii phi- 
ianthropy now made by so considerable a numb^ of 
individuah devoted to the instaruction of the poor, be 
productive of these happy fruits, Wisdom may indeed 
exalt her voice, and say, — ^** Riches and lionour are 
with me ; yea, durable riches and righteousness. My 
fruit is better than gold — my revenue than choice 
silver. I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst 
of tlie paths of judgment: that I may cause them that 
lo\ c me to inherit substance ; and I w^l fill their 
treasures." Prov. viii. 18. 


7^ Subsiance of severei RepcHs reenwd ftum Uu 
Conductors and Conductresses of the Schools in Bris" 
iol and its Vicinity. 

From the Wmum's Schocl in Brick Ixme.-^'' The 

auQcess with which I haye been favcmred, nocel iiader* 
4ook the charge id this school, has greaU7 encouraged 
me ; although, at the comineocemetit, I had only three 
Jeamers, I have ajt present tweot)' -six ; and feel hap|^ 
to state that, u^withstaodii^ thej were ail totally un-- 4 
acquainted with the alphabet when tliey entered the ^ 
school, yet, within the space of seven nion^s, twenty 
of theoi have learned to read tolerably well in the 
INew Testament The seriousness of many of theii* 
eountenaiices, accompanied by a correspondent deport- 
ment, alToi'd a proof that they have gathered «olid in- 
struction from the Holy Scriptures.'* 

From the Men's School in LinukUn Lane. — ^^ Severs! 
of my learners were totally ignorant of the alphabet 
when tliey commenced attendance, who can now read 
in the Testament. I have observed a great change in 
the moral character of some of the persons composing 
my school. One of the military acknowledged to me 
that, prior to his attendance, he was a very different 
man ^ to use lus own words — * Eie neither feared God 
>Bor ma^;' — but being now made acquainted with the^ 
sacred Scriptures, he is like a lion changed to a lamb, 
^rom what I have already seen, I cannot but believe 
that, if the plan of the Bristol Adult Schools be ex- 
tended through the empire, they Mill be a blessing to 
«ociety at large." 

From the Women'' s School in Cannetn Sireet,--^^^ Sioce 
the commencement of the school uml^ my direction, 
eisty six leam^s have been admitted ; there are now 
£t]ty4wo under Mffltmction. The furrowed cheeks of 
inany of them psove tlieir near approach to the eternal 
Jirorld ; and to hear them, in hoary age, express their 
jUiaokiulQess for our labour of love, with the simplicity 
of little 4^bildreQ, cannot but. fill a mind susceptible of 

feeliog, vfiih humble gratitude and praiee^«^Aboat a 
iireek siDce, a poor womao called ou me, to ioquire 
whetlier I did not teach aged persons to read the 
Scriptures; and with tears requested I would admit 
her into my school. She saiu she had lived fiftj-five 
years, and never had seen the necessity of ieanung to 
read until last Easter-Monday, when, after the Anni- 
versary Sermon for the Aduk Schools, she heard two 
aged women read-— one eighty^five, the other sixty- 
•one years old ; and observ^ ' that the Lord taught 
them, and he will teach me also/ " 

From the Schods at the Fishrponds. — " There are 
twenty 4wo men in these schools, who were very im- 
moral characters, and never attended any place of 
worship :^ they now attend regularly, and are remarked 
for theur steady conduct. Two others, belonging to 
the Women's School, who were persons of depraved 
morals, are reformed, and regularly attend their place 
of worship." 

From the Men'^e School in George^s Street^ in the 
Parish caUed St. Philip and Jacobus. — '* The greater 
part of the school appears to be much improved in their 
conduct, and concerned for ^eir future welfare in spir- 
itual things :* they s^t a high value on the learning 
they have acquired, 'express their thankfiilness for it, 
and rejoice that they can now read^f the things that 
make for their present and eternal peace." 

From theMen^s Schoolin Great 4w*s Streets — ^" The 
learners have generally expressed their thankfulness 
for the education they have received, and the good im- 
pressions made upon their minds since they first at- 
tended; which we have, from their improved deport- 
ment and general conduct, reason to believe is sincere." 

From the Women^s School (oi Taylor^s Courts Lamb 
Street,-^^^ Amongst the learners in this school, a re- 
markable improvement has taken place in respect to 
personal cleanliness, as well as industry in their busi- 
ness. Some, who were addicted to drinking to excess, 
have become sober and steady. They^ express their 


thahkfuliieis to the Commitiee and Teachers ; and, 
above all, to their Creatcnr, who iuclined them to atteod 
tlie sehool." 

jFrom th€ Wmnen^s School^ Barton UUL — '* Our 
labour has not been io vain ; besides their improvcmeut 
ia readiog, the school has had ^ good effect upon their 
moral conduct ; 43ome of them, before they were invited 
to come and learn, ware in the habit of spending their 
Sabbath-days in idleness, and in their dirty clothes at 
home ; but now they Appear decent and clean, and I 
have seen some of them attending a place of worship." 

From the Men^s Stihool^ Bedminstcr. — *" Several meti 
in this school, who used to spend their leisure hours in 
pubiic'houses, were addicted to swearing and fighting, 
as well as many other evil practices, have forsaken 
tlieir wicked habits, become sober, order!} persona, and 
their families rendered comfortable by the change." 

The following letter T received from a worthy Clcr« 
gyman, who has taken a lively interest in the edttca- 
ticm and moral improvement of the poor. 

To Thomas Pole, M. D. 

»* Brislington, near Bristol, Dec. 16, 1815. 

" MY DEi^R SIB, 

" T should, before this time, have given you an ae- 
count of the Adult Schools established io the parishes 
of Ke} nsham and Brislington, but I undei-stood, from 
William Smiti), that you had derived authentic in- 
formation from another source. As you, however, wish 
we to supply you with any facts which aave fallen 
under my notice, I gladly comply ; indeed, you, or any 
of the Committee, to which I am indebted for so great 


a blessing to my poor parfehioQerS) m«f at all timefl 
commaad any assistance or testimony which it is io my 
power to render. 

^' The schools at Keynsham were set on foot some 
dme in the month of September last The teachers 
attended gratuitously, but with a regularity and zeal 
which are but seldom 19 be purchased by wages ; and 
the consequence was, the scliools immediately became 
very popular among the ignorant poor. We soon could 
number one hundred and three scholars of botli sexes ; 
and they were so delighted with the instruction they 
\ received, that they begged to be taught not only on 
\ Sunday, but also on two evenings in the . week, after 
Uheir daily labour was finished. The school at Brk- 
ilingtoo has been established very recently : it contains 
thirty-three scholars of both sexes ; and among them a 
very interesting class, consisting of lads who had 
been taught to read at a Sunday-school in their 
childhood, but who, from early and hard servitude in 
the houses of farmers, had begun to lose the little they 
had learnt If I were to fix on any who seem most 
sensible of the advantage of this mode of instniction, 
where all duly appreciate it, I should perhaps fix on 
this class of boys ; and I think it important to draw the 
attention of the Committee to the inquiry — wliether in 
other places there may not be these who, having lost 
the ability of reading their Bible with ease and correct- 
ness, are become as much the objects of their care as 
those who have never been taught at all. 

" t am truly astonished at the progress made by 
most, I think I may say by all, in the Adult Schools. 
Those who could not tell the letters in September, can 
now read the important scriptural lessons in the little 
book, published by the Committee. The accuracy 
with which they can do this, seems to correspond 
pretty exa<^y with their different opportunities. For 
example, srmoUier with five children, will not read so 
well as a childless widow, or unmarried person. The 
religious feeling and moral conduct of the pari^ of 



Keyosbam have been very visibly improved by the 
establidhmeat of these schools ; for, in more instanced 
thao one, a very profligate sinner, who had received 
instruction in his youth and who needed no aid from 
your benevolent eicertlons, has been roused to reflection, 
Co sorrow, and emulation, by seeing the improvement of 
those more degraded thao himself. J feel peculiarly 
thankful to God for the reformation ,of the father of a 
large family, whose wickedness was proverbial ; and, 
a^ he never used the name of God but to blaspheme it, 
I can only attribute the change in him to his attentioo 
being r^^sed by these new schools. Although the 
scholars were many of them vicious as well as igno- 
rant, yet their number contains a very fair proportion 
of the most upright and good people of the parish. It 
is therefore only of the former sort I would be under- 
stood to speak, when I say that several have already 
been much altered for the better by the schools. An 
orphsui girl, thrown into habits of vice by most cmel 
neglect, has, I trust, decidedly returned to the paths of 
virtue, industry, and comfort ; and a drunkard who, 
to the great joy of his wife and family, is reformed, 
havii^ learned how much his temporal comfort is im- 
proved by his new habits, consoles himself by antici- 
pating the superior happiness he shall enjoy this 
Christmas, compared to the riot and intoxication of 
the last festival season. I know your liberality will 
excuse a Clergyman, if he Interprets this declaration of 
a parishioner in a higher sense, and supposes it to mean 
that the power of reading to his wife and children tlie 
wonderful love of tlie Saviour, in becoming a babe and 
lying in a manger — ^the proclamation of the angels, of 
peace and good-will to men — ^the adoration of the wise 
menr-aod the other topics which the Established Church 
at tbis season recommends to the meditation of her 
members, will afford him a pleasure to which he was 
heretofore a stranger, and that this will be the best 
way of enjoying a happy Christmas* ^ 

" Before 1 conclude my letter, I would notice two 
regulations which I think very important in your 



Society. The • first is, yoor permissioii to die adult 
scholars to take home their bodu : this is the gi-aod 
secret of their rapi<i improvemeat ; they rise before the 
day — they steal some moments at their meal-dme — aod 
they keep the rush-light biirniag late at oight, that 
tliey may coq over their Sunday lesson. The second 
good regulation is, all the apparatus of conductors' 
papers, and teachci's' books, vhich take a wonderful 
hold of poor peopie, as they see their lukewarmue^s and 
neglect will be entered in sometljing like a permanent 

** As I have noticed what I think the excellencies 
• of your system^ I wiii mention, also, what I thhik the 
danger to which it is most liable : ior I can most truly 
assure you I am unacqainted with any positive fault 
in any part of the plan ; and tli;it is the danger of con- 
tracting the influence and extent of the system, by any 
rousing of religious differences. The more you can 
keep it to the noble boast and motto of the Bible 
Society, f which I look upon as its lawful parent) — 
Co-operation without Comprotnise — tlie more witlely ex- 
tended will be both its sphere and usefulness. I have, 
on the full persuasion of its great utility, wi-itten to my 
ecclesiastical superior a fall account of the Keynshani 
Adult Schools, and borne a full testimony to the integ- 
rity of design, as well as the constant zeal of Me- 
thodist and Baptist teachers, and to the liberal contri- 
butions from the Society of Friends ; and 1 have done 
ao, not merely because I thought it my duty not to 
make use of so just a moral engine (as far as my insig- 
nificant support and countenance cfln be called my 
making use of it) without his approbation ; but because 
I think the plan calculated for universal adoption. 
While we behave fairly to each other, there is not a 
town or- village in tlie kingdom, which may have a 
Bible Society or Association, bul may, and ought, also 
to have an Adult School. I am happy to say, my 
Bishop approved of the plan ; and has, io Wells, set oa 
foot something of a similar Dature. 


" l?ns]uDg you every access, and a fiill enjoyment 
of that promise of the Bible — ' He that watereth others 
shall he watered also himself :* 

" I remain, with much respect, 
*' Your obliged humble servant, 


The worthy conductress of one of the principal 
schools in Bristol, who favoured me with the following 
letter, has been a zealous labourer Li the cause of edu- 
cating the Adult poor, from the commencement of the 
undertaking; and generously undertook the manage- 
ment of the first school opened for those of her own 
sex. She modestly requested her came might not be 

To Thomas Pole, M. D. 

" Bristol, Dec. 20, 181S. 

•* Sm, 

" Agreeably to your request, I send you some ac- 
count of the Adult School for Females under my care, 
in Gloucester-lane. The recollection of the comnence- 
ment of this school affords me much pleasure : but to 
see the amazing progress of the learners, and the de- 
lightful prospect of its future happy effects, is beyond 
the power of my pen to describe. Many, who came 
only to learn to read, have, by reading the Holy Scrip- 
tures, been truly enlightened, and are now seeking the 
liord with all their hearts. I have made inquiry re- 
specting many of them, and I find that there are (speak- 


ing iriihm compass) ten who appear to be thirstuig 
after diviDe life. The benefits retmUing from these 
Institutions will never be fully known in this world. 
Frequently, on asking them questions respecting the 
good they receive, thej have all seemed unanimous 
in expressing their gratitude to God, and to those 
through whose kindness they have the opportunity of 
learning. They certainly know and feel the value of 
learniog, and bless God while they are reading the 
Scriptures. Truly ' the Lord Is working a new thing 
in the earth.' We have lately had three young n^o- 
men, sent by some of the Friends (Ctuakers) to my 
school, who were taken from off the town ;* their serious 
deportment and attention to their books are very pleasing. 
Tnese once abandoned creatures cannot now say — * I^o 
man careth for my soul.' — ^No, thanks be to God, there 
are benevolent persons who are now seeking out those 
who have been two long left a prey to sin and Satan. 
The number admitted into Gloucester-lane School from 
its commencement is ninety-eight; the present number 
in the school is about fifty-nine. Some are removed to 
other schools, some gone to distant parts, some dead ; 
but very few have turned away from it I could men- 
tion the names of several of the women, were it neces- 
sary, as proofs of what I have above stated ; and were 
their united voice required, it would be heard exclaim* 
iug — V The Lord hatli done great things for us, whereof 
we are glad !' 

*' These are a few of the particulars relative to my 
school, which are at your service, for whatever purpose 
you are disposed to use them. 
« I am Sir, 
" Your's respectfully, 

** E B '* 

* Thifl was before the School of Refuge oommencefl. 



The author of^he ioterestinfl; letter below is one 
of the secretaries of the Bristol Adult School Societj, 
who has been a steady, zealous, and usefiil labourer in 
this important Institution. 

« To Thomas Pole, M. D. 

" JBristol, J«iii_ 21, 1814. 

" A few weeks ago I was much gratified with the 
moral change apparent in the conduct of two of the 
learners in our Adult Schools — a raan and his wife* 
The account I received from the wife is as follows ; 
that, prior to their entering the Adult Schools, neithef 
of them had attended any place of worship for seven or 
eight years ; that her husband, who by trade is a shoe- 
malier, was never contented but when in a public* 
house; the result was that they were almost destitute 
of raiment to cover them, or food to eat. He oftea 
wounded her, in different parts of her body, with his ^ 
knives, and treated her in a very brutal manner. She 
observed, she could not foe sufficiently thavkful for the 
change (experienced in her own temper, as well as that 
of her husband, since they have been taught to read 
the sacred Scriptures. Thank God ! she exclaimed, 
^ now my husband and myself attend always some 
place of worship ; and when we cannot both go at the 
same time, we never forget to pray for each other.' 

She likewise remarked, that her husband absolutely 
dislikes the idea of even going to a public-house oa 
business ; and that, instead of oaths and improper 
usage, he never enters his bed without praying to the 
Father of Mercies for their salvation. She added, \ 
* Where I had one morsel of food before, I hav« tea 
BOW at least. My Imsband is become so just in all his 

88 « 

dealings, that be wBl not let ai^ one cany cmt his 
shoes for sale, fearing they should ask for them more 
thau they are reaHy worth. By the help of God, it is 
our mutual determination to lire and die in his service ; 
and grateful to those who have kindly instructed us to 
read the Holy Scriptures/ 

" I believe, my dear Sir, I have written the ac- 
count exactly as it was related ; and should you thii^ 
proper to make any use of it, I need only say, the parties 
have no objection. 

" With great respect, 

" i am your Sincere Mend, 

« BENJ. DOI^NE-'^ 

Amongst the evident improvemeots in the moral char- 
acter of the lower classes, since the establishment of 
Adult Schools, as well as those iot the education of the 
rising generation, it has been pointedly remarked by 
the inhabitants of Bristol, "with pecuUar satisfaction, 
that, during the present winter, we have not heard of 
one fourth-part of the nocturnal depredations in this 
city and neighlxjurhood, as have of latter years been 
coromittedC It has likewise beeen observed that, duiing 
tlic late illuminations, the lower classes have been far 
less iiide and riotous than was formerly the case, when 
they were in the habit of breaking the windows, 
Hot only of those who scmpulously objected to put 
up candles, but even of such as did not illumi- 
nate to their wishes : on the late occasion, nothing of 
this kind, worth speaking of, occurred in this place. 
This improvement in their conduct has, by a consider- 
able number of sensible and reflecting persons, withU) 
my own hearing, been attributed to the beneficial 
effects produced on the minds of the common people 
by the combined influence of both Adult and Children's 
Schools. If those circumstances, which must afford 
peculiar aatisfiBiotion aud pleasure to every good citizen^ 

I -<£, 



do not owe their existence, in a great meadure at leasts 
to these philaothropic semioaries, to what then caa 
they^he attributed ? — If these desirable iroprovementa 
be but in part the results of the Adult Institutions, 
they have a strong claim upon every patriotic individ- 
ual to afford them all the support in their power, both 
for their own advantage and safety, as well as that of 
their country at large. 

At Salisbury, the instruction of adults has, to the 
great credit of the inhabitants, been adopted and prose- 
cuted with exemplary vigour. , In a short time, they 
had fifty or sixty learners under instruction ; they then 
called a public meeting, and formed themselves into a 
society ; framed rules for their future government^ 
and chosen their officers ; they searched the city and 
adjacent villages, to find out those who stood most in 
need of their friendly exertions; they procured houses, 
collected teachers, and entered into a subscription : 
one person gave twenty pounds, two others ten pounds 
each, and others ^ in proportion to their circumstances, 
vrhich proved amply sufficient for the demands of the in* 
fant Institution. On two week-day evenings they teach 
inen, aod on two others, women ; they also teach on the 
first day of the week ; the number of learners has increas- 
ed to three hundred, according to accounts dated 1st 
Mo. (January) 1814. About one hundred of these go 
on a week-day evening to learn to write, as well as to 
read; this has been effected within the space of about 
five months. The author of the letter from which this 
account is taken, observes, ~" Prejudice in general hi 
wearing away, and the people begin to see the neces- 
sity of an acquaintance with the Holy Scriptures ; our 
otetacles decrease every day, and our encouragements 

*' The progress some of the scholars make, is truly 
astonishing : some learned the alphabet in less than a 
week 5 many can now read an easy lesson distinctly, 
and others a plain chapter in the Bible. The gratitude 
many of them manifest, both to God and their teachers 


is beyond all expressioo ; some of them ai^ astonidied 
at the wooderfiil things they read iu the Holy Scrip- 
tares, which they never heard of before. And there u 
an evident change in the conduct of many of the scho« 
lar&for the bttten The possittte and probable good 
that may result to this city and its vicinity, from thdr 
IBStruction, is beyond all caiculatioD." 

Speaking further of the Adult Schools^ the author of 
the letter proceeds to observe — " This is a great na- 
tional work, free from all party influence. Our de- 
sign is not to proselyte to any j^rticular sect or denom- 
inatioQ of Christians ; but simply to teach the uoiet- 
texed poor to read the Word of God for themselves. It 
is one of out rules, that bo teacher shall persuade any 
of the scholars to go to any particular place of wor- 
ship ; but to leave them to themselves, and their judg- 
ment and consciences unfettered and perfectly free."* 

In a letter received from a very respectable friend 
at Ipswich, respectiojs: the schools there, is this passage : 
*' It would rejoice every benevolent heart to see the 
eagerness wiUi which those aged persons attend to the 
reading of the Holy Scriptures; their conduct and 
ccHiversation, we have reasoa to believe, are suitably 
affected by the truths they learn." 

Another correspondent, who has taken a very ac- 
tive paft in establishing these schools, and evinced him- 
self deeply interested in their success, says, " The 
good effects are already daily visible in our streets ; 
and, could we persuade all to enlist, a complete refor- 
mation of manners would take place." 

My worthy friend, Thomas Charles, of Bala, Me- 
rionethshire, in a letter 1 have jiist received from him, 
speaking of the prosperity of the schoob in the district 
where he established the first for iustructing Adults^ 
say 85 " A chapel has been built by the inhabitants, 
which is c<»i8tantly well attended $ and between sixty 

» From a letter by Geopge GillartI, a tlissenting Minister, to 
Joseph Entwisle, Minister in the Methodist Society, Bristol. 


azid .^eveot^ perBoos of that place have joioed in reti- 
gioits society. The beneAcial effects of this school are 
a great increase of religious knowledge by reading and 
ge arching the Scriptures — a constant attendance on 
religious worsliip, by a people who scarcely ever at- 
tended any place of tJie kind before — great reforma- 
tion in the mornls and general deportment of the peo- 
ple, who are civilized, and have lost their barbarous 
ferocity in their appearance and conduct towards one 
another, and evince a ready attention to domestic 
duties. Brunkenuess, quands, and fightings, we heai* 
no more of^ but sobriety and decency universally pre- 
vail. Most are reformed; and many, we confidently 
hope, are become ' new creatures in Christ Jesus.*-^ 
Young and old meet together every Sabbath, to io- 
struct each other, and to receive instruction. Their 
ignorance was very great ; they knew but little more 
of the tilings of Gad, than inferior animals* The very 
terms and language of the Bible conveyed to them no 
ideas ; but now the Bible is their study'and constant 
companion ; they uiiderstand the Scripture language ; 
and tliey receive instruction Avith facility, and readi- 
ness of apprelieusion.*' 

This publication is likely to extend much beyond 
what I had anticipated ; oUierwise, I might have pre- 
fatinted the reader with a far. greater number of in- 
stances of moral improvement, resulting from the educa< 
tion of adults — from reading and hearing read the sacred 
Scriptures — as well as from the instruct ive examples 
of the conductors and teachers, together with the serious 
advice occaeiooally given them ; all of which may 
happily conspire to promote a religious inclination in 
the objects of tultian, to seek and pray for the grace of 
God in Cluist Jesus, to enable them to walk in the 
fear of their Maker, and to act consistently with the 
divine precept contained in that best of all books, 
which we are qualifying them to read in their own 
humble dwellings* If the moral benefits already stated, 
accruing from these schools, be duly considered, what 

tme Chrbti&n, or what well-wisher to his iodigmit Illit- 
erate t'elluw-creatures and to his couotry, can, with 
comfort and satisfaction to himself, withhold his per- 
sonal or pecuniary aid for the advancement of so greats 
so good^ and ^o glorious a cause as that must unques- 
tionably be, which contributes to exalt the name of God 
in the earthy and finally promote the salvation of souls ! 

Address to Conductors and Teachers. 

In prosecuting the plans of the Bristol Adult School 
Society, much depends on the selection of conductors 
and teachers, of suitable character and steady perse^ 
veraiicc. A tribute of fateful praise is due to those 
who have sacrificed their own convenience, and gener- 
ously devoted their time and talents to the schools al- 
ready established for the benefit of the illiterate poor, 
to whom the sacred Records have been as a dead letter 
or a sealed book, for want c^ ability to peruse them 
for themselves. Your encouragement being the object 
of this Address, I cannot express myself better than in^ 
the language of the Inspector of the Stockport School, 
— " Go on ! with Benevolence for your guide, and Re- 
ligion your end ; your labours will not be lost upon 
) our fellow-creatures, nor forgotten by your God. Let 
not the ridicule of the licentious, the ingratitude of the 
unfeeling, the insinuatiorjs of envy, nor the arts of de- 
traction discourage you. Providence has espoused and 
protected your cause ; and the prospect brightens as 
you advance. Let your conversation and conduct — 
let the whole of your instructions and deportment be 
such as you will have no objection to see feirly copied 
out in the character of those who have claimed your 
pity and your exertions." 

" Wlien we review the origin and progress of this 
Institution, we stand astonished^ and say-- Jit is the 



tjOr^s doing, and it is marvellous in (mr eyesJ*^ Be 
not wearj in well-doiug ; suiTer not the cause in which 
you have so nobly engaged to fall to the gi-ouud; thus 
shall you rejoice with those whom you have occasioned 
to rejoice ; and you may live to see the language of the 
prophet happily verified in their experience — " There- 
fore sbalJ tliey come and sing in the height of Zion, 
and shall flow togetlier to the goodness of the Lord." — 
Liet not your hands liang down with discouragement; 
sufter not the ingratitude of tlie inconsiderate to damp 
your ardour ; nor tlie licentiouT^ness of a few, on whom 
you may have bestowed your labour in vain, to paralyse 
the laudable exertions of Christian philanthropy. You 
who have put your hands to the plough, look not back, 
exercise the talents you possess to the praise and the 
glory of your divine Benefactor ; cultivate the burn an 
mind, the field so long neglected, which has hitherto 
produced nothing but briers and thorns. Look around 
you ; be not unmindfiil of the signs of the times ; be* 
hold in them the harbinger of better days : — " For the 
Lord shall comfort Zion ; he will comfort her waste 
places, he will make her wilderness like Eden, antl her 
desert like the garden of the Lord: joy and gladness 
shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of 

Time to the adult learners is most precious, partic- 
ularly those who are advanced in age ; if they are to 
be made partakers of the blessing of education for the 
religious advantages it may afford them, they claim our 
immediate attention; they are more evidently ap- 
proaching their eternal home ; and, feeling the in- ' 
creasing infirmities incident to human nature, may 
exclaim — 

*' I bear a voice you cannot hear, 
** Which says — ^1 mart not stay ; 

" I fsee a hand you cannot see, 
" Which beckons me away." 

* Address delivered on laying the foCindation stone of thi 
School-house at Stockport. 


The desire of being beloved of our fellow^ereaUirei i 
18 a principle ioherent in human nature ; but to be be- ' 
loved of Him on vhom not only our present comfort, 
but eternal happiness depeod^ is the summit of present j 
and future felicity. The best way of proving to our- jj 
selves and the world that we love the God of Truth, 
and that he has tlie pre-eminence in our affections, is *| 
to feed his sheep and his lambs. This you are doing, J 
when fixing in the minds of others the precepts of pure •! 
Christiasity ; when qualifying them to peruse, in the 
abodes of poverty, that sacred volume which points to 
him who is " The Bread of LifeJ*^ If you are made the 
happy instruments of assisting to gather these within | 
the fold of Jesus Christ, the great and gOod Shepherd 
of Israel, it will dignify your characters amongst men — 
your services will be owned of your God, and may add 
lustre to your crown of glory when favoured to joio i 
*' tJu general assetnbhf and churdi of the first hom, \ 
written in ftenvm/^*— Thus will you have cause to bless 
your Creator for the being he has given you in this 
world, and for enabling you to fill your appointed sta- 
tion to his honour, as well as the future well-being of 
those who have been the objects of your affectionate^ 
your Christian solicitude. With what unutterable joy- 
will you embrace their kindred spirits in the Paradise 
of God, where that which on earth separates the rich 
from the poor — ^that which has divided the candidates 
for heaven into sects and parties, can have no exist- 
ence ; but where the righteous of all nations, of all 
generations, and of all societies, shall meet as the chil- 
dren of one Father ; united in an indissoluble eternal 
covenant of love ; where " the morning stars sing toge- 
ther^ and the sotis of God shout for jo^ /" — ^It was, un- 
questionably, the original design of our all-wise Creator, 
that we should draw our happiness immediately fipom 
him, by an intellectual access to himself, the Fountain 
of Wisdom, Power, and Goodness ; and that we should 
be reciprocally employed in promoting each other's 
felicity through the period of our temporal existence,. 


thereby becoming one aaother^s strength and jof in the 
Liord. Is there not then cause of rejoicio^ when we be- 
hold an locreasiDg disposition in the various classes of 
religious professors to unite in these labours of love ? — 
Liaboui's designed to lead ^e long neglected poor into 
the way of life and salvation. Fail not, then, in your 
laudable exertions ; be not weary of the task assigned 
you ; the Lord is your Master — your wages will be 
sure — none shall open or shut a door in liis house for 
Dought : open then the doors of his temples — the hearts 
of your fellow-men, " that the King (^ Glory may cmne 
in /" and shut them against the unwearied adversary, 
the encroachments of the great deceiver of souls ; and 
tnay the invisible hand that has conducted you to these 
services, continue to guide and support you therein, 
and in the performance of all other duties he may re* 
quire ; till he shall be pleased to summon your immor^ 
tal spirits to the gates of the heavenly Jerusalem, when 
^ch, who has been faithful to his calling, shall hear 
proclaimed his admission to the boundless regions of 
ineffable light and transcendent glory — " Well done, 
thou. good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful 
over a few things^ I will make thee ruler over many 
things s enter thou into the joy of thy LordJ^^ 

General Reflections. 

If we look around us, and take a survey of the 
empires of the world, we behold the present times 
marked by a si^^sion of events that at once excite 
our hopes and fSrS-our astonishment and admiration. 
The nations of Europe, and of the western world, have 
rocked to their very bases — convulsed by animosities 
and discord. Pestilence has stalked abroad, and earth- 
quakes laid proud cities in the dust. On the eastern 
continent, the devouring sword has again and again 
been drenched in human blood; the desolating influence 


of war hath spread around ; the earth has been sprinkled 
with the orphairs tears; and the cries of tlie widow 
have pierced the skies. But, while the besom of de- 
struction has swept eo many of the civilised nations of 
the world, the favoured island of Britain has been mer- 
cifully exempted from the horrors of earthquakes, the 
devouring pestilence, and the thunders of war. Her 
fields have poured forth abundance, and tranquillity 
hatii reigned within her borders. In marking the 
striking contrast, how should the strains of gratitude 
arise from the hearts of her children unto Him wlio 
crowneth their days with '^ loving kindness and with 
tender mercies." 

England may be considered as a luminous spot, 
from whence light and intellijjeqce emanate to the re- 
motest regions of ignorance. The eyes of all nations 
view it with envious adiJiiration. Princes, dethroned by 
usurpation or anarcliy, have fled to her sheltering arms, 
and enjoyed repose within these heaven-protect^i 

Here Christianity has unfurlrd her banners, and 
exalted her fair — her beautiful standard. In this gar- 
den of Europe, Science has erected her temple to ex- 
plore and explain the mysterious laws of nature ; and 
Benevolence has chosen her abode. Here, too, the 
sister Arts have established tlieir seats, patronized and 
protected by princes and nobles. 

Literature, amidst her countless votaries, sheds 
her elfidgent beams ; and Comn^erce sends forth her 
splendid wares from Britannia's portals, and gathers in 
her wealth from every clime. Yet, let not Britain 
proudly triumph ! Let her not vauj^ingly exult ; but, 
remembering the source of all her ^^leges, gratefuUy 
offer the tribute of thanksgiving, and feelingly exclaim 
— " What shall I render unto the Lord for all liis 
benefits ! ' 

When we consider the unexampled exertions that 
are now making in every part of the kingdom, in b^ 
half of th^ lower classes of the community, the present 


may be denominated the a^ of philanthropic benevo* 
leuce. Id time past, we have been accustomed to 
form ao idea of beoevoleoce as a rivulet flowing through 
the several societies of Clinstiaos ; dividing, and sub* 
dividing into small, and thence into still more diminu^ 
tive streams ; but, of latter years, we have seen this 
rivulet spread wider and wider, until, like the wateri - 
of the Nile, it has swollen and broken down the ordi- 
nary boundaries, diffusing its fertilizing deluge ovet 
the whole country ; yea, it has rendered the nation 
fruitful in liberal charity and love. It is comparatively 
but a few years, since that beneficial, diffusive system 
of educadoo burst forth in the vicinity of the metrops- 
^lis, embraced and patronized by t venerable sove^ 
f-eign, by princes, by nobles, and by Christimis of all 
denominations ; it spread like vernal showers over the 
three kingdoms, and ultimately to distant lands. The 
purses of the middling classes, as well as of the rich, 
l¥ere opened to promote the good work; schools were 
established to afford the bless&g of education to thou- 
sands and tens of thousands of indigent children. This 
was the grand means of developii^ the faculties of the 
ignorant, and of preparing them to receive and under- 
stand the great and interesting truths of religion, to be 
placed in their hands bj another dignified Institution, 
Which had yet to make ita appearance : m Institution 
sever anticipated by the projectors or patrons of the 
hew system of education ; but which, doubtless, had ita 
existence in the secret des^ns of the all-wise Governor 
ot the universe, who best knows how to effect his owtt 
great and gracious purposes. 

About eight years revolted, while this new svstem 
was spreading over sea and land, ere the British and 
Foreign Bible Society arose in the metropolis of £ng« 

This period (the year 1804) will deserve a splendid 
record in the religious annals of our favoured natiod; 
and of our venerable Monarch ; who, to his lasting 
honour be it told^ declared it to be bis widi &at tveiy: 


pom* subject in his dominions might he able to read his 
Biblii^ and have a Bible to read. It was at thj»t period, 
and io the bosom of t!ie British Empire, this noble 
InstitudoD took its rise, as a seed from the celestial 
Paradise, planted hj the infinitely wise Husbandman 
io the garden of Europe, watered by the enriching 
streams that flow from under the threshold of his sanc- 
tuary. It grew, and spread its branches as the tree 
that " yielded its fruit every month, and whose leaves 
were for the healing of the nations ;" or, if I may be 
allowed to change the metaphor, it arose as a luminous 
mountain, to dignify the era of its commencement, and 
the place where it appeared. It extended its base, 
imtil it became commensurate with the shores of the 
British Isle, Not restrained within these limits, it 
spread over sea and land ; and is become the mountain 
thajL iilleth the whole earth. It rose higher and 
higher, till its summit attained the altitude of the skies, 
and was crowned with , the stars of heaven : not stars 
created for a limited duration, but such as shall shine 
without end ; for " they who turn many to righteous- 
ness, shall shine as stars fur ever and ever.'* Its light 
diverged to the east and to the west, to the north and 
to the south; its resplendent beams stretched over 
tJie empires of the world, to enlighten the remotest 
regions of ignorance — the habitations of superstition 
and idolatry ; to spread the knowledge of the everlast- 
ing Gospel amongst those who sit in darkness, and have 
never been instructed in the doctrines of tlieir evei^ 
adorable Redeemer. 

Thus, finally, the knowledge of the Lord may cover 
the earth as the waters cover the seas ; when love 
Bhall be the indissoluble bond of union between individ- 
uals, families, societies, and nations of the earth. It is 
this spirit of the Prince of Peace and God of love, that 
alone will sheathe the sword in the scabbard for ever ; 
when. " Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, 
and good-will to men," shall resound from every quar- 
ts of Uie habitable globe. 


III coQtempiatiog these two grand designs — tl 
for (lifTusiug education amongst the illiterate poo^ 
other, for furnishing them with the sacred voi 
^ble, through faith in Christ, to make them wise 
salvation — if our minds are capable of comprehending 
tiie beneficial effects they are calculated to produce, 
both in a religious and secular point of view, and the 
harmonizing tendency they have already had amongst 
the various professors of Christianity— if we consider 
the unexampled prosperity %vhich has marked their 
rapid progress, and the munificence with which they 
have been supported, and this too under the greatest 
pecuniary difficulties — if we consider the cheerfulness 
with which unnumbered labourers have put their shoul- 
ders to the work, it would seem a proof of infidelity (o 
attribute all this to the wisdom of man, or the natural 
Benevolence of the human mind. No ; it is unques- 
tionably the offspring of that ever gracious Being, who 
is the first cause of all that is truly good — of all ' Ihnf 
can promote his glory, and of all that can exalt his 
name in the earth. He alone can prepare the fallen 
rsice of man to receive the fulness of the Gospel, and 
(he establishment of the Messiah's peacefiil kingdom 
and government throughout the world. 

Then let the inhabitants of Britain be warned by 
the example of Nebuchadnezzar, nor say — " by our 
might and wisdom we have done these things !" — Let 
us rather, with unfeigned humility and reverence, bow 
before the throne of mercy, and offer unto God the 
tribute of praise and thanksgiving, as a sanctified offer- 
ing on the altar of hearts dedicated unto him. Let us 
consider it as an unutterable obligation upon us to 
spend the residue of our days in the faithful discharge 
of every duty he is pleased to require at our hands, 
tliat he may not hide his face from us, or witlidraw the 
abundant blessings he has graciously confened. 

To revert to the Institutions of which we have been 
speaking, like Judgment and Truth, they have met to- 
gether — like Righteousness and Peace, they have kissed 


each other* The laboin^ io these tv^ adjuceot tSeld» 
are reciprocally promoting each other^s prosperity. 

And oow has tlie God of Mercy aod Iiove, to pro- 
mote still further the preparation of mamkind for the 
full display of his glory in Christ Jesus, been pleased to 
inclioe the hearts of many pious individuals, of yarious 
denominations, to consider the long and lamentably 
neglected state of the adult poor, extending to them, 
as well as to the rising generation, the inestimable bless- 
ing of education ; that they may read and understand 
the religion of Christ, who descended from the realms 
of transcendent glory to be a light unto the Gentiles, 
and God^s salvation to the ebds ci the earth. In con- 
sidering the beneficial effects of these establishments, 
that have become tlie admiration of the world, may we 
not believe that the Bright and Morning Star has risen 
upon the earth, and is shedding his celestial radiance 
on the children of men ? — Is there not, in these things, 
to be discerned the finger of Omnipotence, pointing to 
the day spoken of in the sacred volume, when men will 
meet, not to say to their fellow-men — " Know ye the 
Lord t" — for all shall know him, from the least to the 
greatest; aod great shall be their peace ? 

My valued friend, James Montgomery, who has 
taken a considerable interest in the education of the 
poor, obligingly presented me with the following Poem 
QU Adult Schools, lor insertion in this publication, ac- 
companied with some observatioiis, evincing that mo* 
desty which is the general concomitant of real merit. 
He observefr^" If I have not fulfilled your expecta- 
tions, I have manifested my good-will even in my 
failure." — He signifies that every good thought has 
been long ago occupied by others ; that the undertaking 
was positively like making bricks without straw ; and 
goes on to say, ^< I have taken up some of tlie glean- 
iog^ of good old ilioughts, and bound them aa well as 


I could into a fitde shea^ which I present to jou ; if it 
be at an acceptable, I shall be gratified and rewarded." 
— He will excuse me, if I make a public acknowledg- 
ment of mj obligation for his kind compliance with my 
request ; assuring him, at the same time, that his pres- 
ent is rery acceptable tome, and, I doubt not, will be 
60 to all who peruse this publication.^ 




Lord ! are there eyes that see the sun, 
And gaze with joy on Nature's face, 

Yet, while tfaitnigb all thy works they run, 
Thy glorious Godhead never-trace ? 

Lord ! are there eyes, to which thy book 

No hidden mystery reveals ? 
O give them power thereon to look. 

Lion of Judah ! break the seals.^ 

There, with new light may they behold 
Thy counsels, since the world began, 

Like mornhig's gradual beams, unfold 
The wonders of thy love to man. 

For whom, a rebel from hh birth. 
Thine only Son, thou didst not spare. 

* Bev.v. 5. 


The Lord from hoUven cane down to eairtk, 
JEfit guiLt and paiuahinent to hear. 

Thus while instmction they receive, 
Thy Spirit's inward light impart, 

Till trembling penitents believe. 
And mercy heals the broken heart. 

Not eyes alone shall then rejoice 
In the rich oomferts of thy word, 

Deaf ears shall hearken to thy voice. 
And bless the day its sound was heard. 

Tongues, that were wont to pledge thy name 
In oaths and cursings, change their tone, 

Thy free salvation to proclaim. 
And make thy loving-kindness known. 

Bosoms, by cruel fiends possest, 
Bark dungeons of in-dwelling sin. 

Are temples with thy presence blest, 
All glorious, like t^e ark, within. 

Though eartk no lovelier prospects shew 
Than children walking in thy ways ; 

And Heaven no sweeter muirie know 
Than infant voices joinM in praise :'-«■ 

Though suck, secured from eariy vice, 
Water'd by thy continual care. 

Spring up like trees of Paradise, 
And fruits in long succession bear :— 

Yet will the tears of transport swdl, 
Our spirit's pure affection burn, 

TVhenaged sinners, wam'dof Hell, 
HiOQgh late, and slow, to God return. 


Humbly they take the lowest seat, 

Matrons and hoary*headed men 
Are learners at the Saviour's feet, 

Are littk'dUtdren oace again. 

Lord ! we commit them to thine hands ; 

To thee their new-born hopes aspire ; 
O take them, keep them— these are brands 

Pluck'd out of everlasting fire ! 

SheffUld, Dtc. 22, IMS. 



Rides proposed for the government of AduU School So- 
cieties, which timy hereafter be establisked in other 
parts of the country ; and for the regulation of the 
schools themselves, taken from those of the original 
society in Bristol ; in which, some alterations are 
made, and a few res;ulations added, resulting Jrotn 
experience subsequently to the formation of that 

1. THAT the great object of tliis society be to teach 
persoQS to read the holy Scriptures ; aad that all poor 
persons, of both sexes, and of any religious persuasion, 
of sixteen years of age or upwards, be considered eli- 
gible for admission into the schools as learners ; and shall 
be admitted by the conductors according to their discre- 
tion, and dismissed by them as they may think proper. 

2. That this society consist of subscribers, conduc- 
tors, and teachers. 

3. That a -committee* be chose;! from the subscri- 
bers ; one pf whom shall fill the office of president, 
another that of treasurer, and twof that of secreta- 
ries. That the committee diall meet once every month,| 

* The number of committee-men acGordmg to the extent of 
the society, 
t One or two, as circumstances may require. 
X The times of meeting to be fixed by the society. 

with fall powers to adopt any re^ilations that may ap« 

pear to them beneficial to the society ; that * Bliall 

form a quorum ; and that all clergymen and dissenting 
miuisters, being subscribers, be considered members of 
tlie committee ex officio. 

4. That any three members of the committee shall, 
urith the concurrence of the president, treasurer, and 
secretaries for the time being, • be empowered at any 
time to call a meeting of the committee, or of the society. 

5. That all annual subscribei*s of five shillings or 
upwards, shall be considered members of this society 
during one year from each time of paying such sub- 
scription ; and donors of five pounds and upwards, be 
members for life. 

6. That proper places be obtained in this ,t and 

within I miles of the same, for the establishment of 
schools ; and that suitable conductors and teachers be 
provided by the secretaries, with the assistance of other 
numbers of the society. 

7. That each shool shall have at least one conductor, 
and a proper number of teachers ; that each teacher 
ahall have a class, consisting of not more than six learn- 
ers ; and that both conductors and teachers shall be 
punctual in their attendance at the time and place ap- 
pointed for holding the schools^ 

8. That the schools shall be opened on the first day 
of the week (Sunday,) at 2 o'clock, and closed at four, 
unless otherwise fixed by the conductors, with the ap- 
probation of the committee ; and that the learners be 
admonished to be at their schools ten minutes before the 
time appointed, to allow for the variation of clocks, that 
the teachers may not be kept waiting after the time for 
coihmencing the business of tlie schools. 

* The number fonaing a quorum to he determined by the ex- 
tent of the society, 
t City, town, &c. 
X Fix the number of miles. 


9. That personal cleanliness, in the learners, be pa*» 
tirularly attended to, as far as their circumstances iu life 
will triable ihem. 

10. That no learner be permitted to remove from one 
of the schools to another, without first obtaining appro* 
bation, in writing, from the conductor of the school he 
beioni^ed to ; which notice of approbation shall be pre^' 
sented to the conductor of the school such learner wishes 
to enter into; subject to the acceptance or rejection of 
the last mentioned conductor. 

11. Tiiat a portion of the scriptures shall be read, at 
the comnieqcement and close of the school, by the con- 
ductor or a visiter ; and that silence be strictly kept, 
not only -during the reading, but also for a short time 
before and after the scriptures are read. 

12. That to encourage the conductors and teachers, 
9B well as to stimulate the learners to diligence in their 
attendance, and attention to the discharge of their duties, 
two or more suitable persons shall be selected by the 
secretaries, every six months, as visiters ; whose office 
it shall be to visit the schools every fortnight, and en- 
deavour to find out proper objects for instruction, aad 
call on absentees when necessary. 

13. That the learners be considered as having ob- 
tained the object of this society, when \hey can read 
distinctly and readily in the Bible ; and shall then be 

14. That there be a meeting of the conductors and 
teachers on the * day in every month ; and a gene- 
ral meeting of the society on the -f day in every 

year4 of which, due notice shall be given ; at which 
meeting the secretaries shall produce and read a written 
report of the progress of the iastitution, the number of 

* Time of meeting to be settled by the committee. 

t The week-day of the week, and month, to be fixed by the 

society, or committee. 

J May be yearly, of half yearly 


sehbols opened since the last general meeting, the total 
number under the society's jurisdiction, the number of 
learners in each school, the average attendance ot* the 
learners, the number of conductors and teachers ; like- 
wise a statement of the finances of the society, with any 
other information they may judge expedient and satis- 
factory to the subscribers. Which meeting shall be 
open to the attendance of strangers of both sexes, who 
may feel interested in this undertaking, and - who shall 
be at liberty to offer such observations as tliey may 
judge likely to promote the object of the society, or be 
encouraging to those already engaged in this labour of 
love to our indigent fellow-creatures. At every such 
yearly meeting, the names of suitable persons for filling 
the several offices of president, treasurer, secretary, 
committee-men, and collector, shall be brought forward 
to be ballotted for, who shall undertake the management 
of the affairs of the society for the ensuing year ; and 
those who have served in these offices to the satisfactioQ 
of the society, shall be eligible for re-election. 

1 5. That the collecter shall call upon the several 
subscribers for their annual subscriptions, who shall pay 
the same into the hands of the treasurer, who is to report 
the amount thereof to the committee. 

1 6. That the several offices of this Institution be held» 
and their duties fulfilled, without any pecuniary reward 

1 7. That in order to prevent any prejudice or jeal- 
ousy, on account of little diffisrencesin religious opinions^ 
and to favour the uniting of well disposed persons of all 
christian societies in this laudable work of christian 
charity^, no controversy on doctrinal subjects, or reli- 
gious points of any description, shall be allowed in any 
of the meetings of the society, or the schools belon^^og 

* \ collector may not in all cuses be obtained without pay ; 
•ocieties must, therefore, act according to circumstances in tht^ 


thereto ; but all parlies are recommended to cultirate 
a spirit of reciprocal love and harmony. 

THERE is one circumstance of no small importance 
to the properly conducting of the schools, for the ob- 
servance of which, it is to be hoped, it will not be re- 
quisite to have a binding rule ; but the teachers may be 
admonished to avoid entering into conversations with 
visiters who may occasionally come into the schoolis, 
from motives of curiosity or otherwise ; for when this is 
the case, the duties of their office must unavoidably be 
neglected. Two hours in the week is a small portion of 
time to devote to so important an object ; every minute 
lost will, therefore, be a source of regret If the viri- 
ters should be observed to call off the attention of the 
teachers, they should be respectfully informed by ih^ 
conductor present of the impropriety, and requested to 
defer any inquiries they may wish to make» till the busi- 
ness of the school be ended. 

Mules to be fairly nrriUen^ pasted an a Boards an/ilmng 
in a conspicuous part of the Schooi-room^ which should 
be audibU/ read to the school once in eveiry MonSu 

1. THAT the time of meeting be ten mimites before 
2 o'clock, every first day (Sunday) aftemeon ; and that 
precisely at two, die bosiness of the school shall com- 

2. That a portion of the holy Scriptures shall be read^ 
at the commencement and close of the school, by a ceih 


ductor ;* and that silence be strictly kept, oot 00I7 dur- 
ing the reading,, but for a short space of time before and 
after they are read. 

- 3, That any orderly poor person, above sixteen 
years of age, may be received into the school, or dis- 
missed from it, by the conductor, or conductors ; and 
that personal cleanliness be particularly attended to, as 
. far as their circumstances in life ivili enable them. 

4, That no learner belonging to any other school be 
admitted into this ; unless it be certified, in writing, by 
the conductor, that it is with his approbation such 
learner makes application fox admission into this. 

Private Rules for the regulation of the Teachers ; each 
of whom should have a copy in his possession. 

1. EACH teacher to be furnished with a class pa- 
per, to keep an account of the attendance of each learn- 
er ; which is to be filled up, and laid on the conductor's 
table before 3 o'clock-f 

2. As soon as a teacher finds a learner in l^p class 
is fit to be advanced to a higher one, he is to inform the 
conductor who officiates for the day.J 

3. The teachers are requested to be punctual to the 
time of meeting ; that they endeavour to preserve still- 
ness in their classes during the school hours ; and that 
they particularly observe the mode of instruction adopt- 
ed ^in the school, in respect to reading and writing ; 

* Conductress, if a female-schofiL 
t Supposing tlie school to begin at 2 o'clock. 
% In some instances, several conductors officiate alternately. 




f the learners, *?^ tt»e propei- i>Ia<: 
^8, lessons, Ssc- »'* 


fflg, lessons, «fcc- »' 

tWheD a te»«^h;^te teachers^ «/ the s, 

)iy to y*^-ft,sr *»',,;. the *ie£icie„-7:7;'" 





'*-.«»* ?1,.1I ."^Dt; two to a^»-^^ 

It ^^^ At^ ^^^"^^^^ no^^'^ ^^^ teachers untlertake th^ ^ 
l^t ^ ^^"'^^^^ €^iX^^^ *^® school alternately, r^^ 

^r *;^^^ W^^\evt. ttnder the title of Supe»«B 

It. "C 



the books, without the concurrence of all the conduc- 

2. That the businegs of the scliool be divided between 
the conductors who act for the day; and that a book be 
kept, in which shall be entered the age, name, residence, 
and time of admission of the leariiers ; also, an account 
of the number present of both teachers and learners ; 
and a class- paper provided for each class, headed witli 
the teacher's name. 

3. Should either of the conductors wish to resign his 
office (before the usual time of electing new ones,) he is 
requested to send notice thereof, in writing, to the other 
conductors, one month previously to such resignation, 
who are to provide a properly qualified person to fill 
the vacancy. 

4. Should either of the conductors be prevented at- 
tending in his turn, he is to engage one of the others to 
act in his place. 

5. That no tracts or publications be introduced into 
the school, without being previously examined and ap- 
proved by all the conductors.! 

6. That the conductors shall appoint the learners to 
their respective classes, and remove them to higher 
classed as they advance in learning ; and also appoint 
what teachers they may think requisite and properly 

7. That a school-secretary be appointed, whose busi- 
rtess it shall be to keep a fair book of the minutes be- 
longing to the school ; to write all notices, if required { 
to attend, and enter tlie transactions of the quarterly 
meeting in a book for that purpose j and, with tlie con- 

* It is desirable to have more than onfe conductor, that they 
may orcasionally relieve each other ,or supply each other's places, 
in case of illness or absence from home. Most of the schools 
in Brfstol have but one conductor or conductress. 

t It might be proper for the committee to appoint a sub-corn* 
mittee, to examine all tracts ; to prevent the bias which par- 
ticular opinions might have upon the minds of the learners. 


ductors, to prepare a report, to be read at the general 
annual meeting of the society. 

8. That a quarterly meeting of the conductors and 

teachers be held on the day, in , ■ - , ' ■ , 

— ,* in every year ; and that at the meeting next pre- 
ceding the annual meeting, a report be drawn op, to 
be laid before the said annual meeting, mentioning the 
flumber of learners admitted since the commencement 
of the school, the number admitted in the present year, 
and the number now irj the school, with the average at- 
tendance of the scholars ; also, the number and names 
6f the conductors and teachers, as well as a general 
account of the conduct and progress of the learners, 
with such other information as they may think necessary, 
ia order to enable the secretaries of the society to ma&e 
ep their general annual report, to be printed and laid 
before the public. 

The rules and regulations here proposed, are more 
particularly designed for the government of Adult 
dchool Societies, and the schools belonging to them 
which may be established in populous cities and towns^ 
where two or three, or a much larger number, shall be- 
long to such a society ; but local circumstances wflt 
jetwicr it necessary to make mateml deviations. Where 
one or two small schools may be established, a few sim* 
pie rules will be sufficient for their regulation. Wheu 
the general principles are clearly understood, there wilt 
be little difficulty in selecting from those now laid be- 
fore the public, such as may answer the purposes of 
benevolent individuals, who shall incline to adopt the 
important design of educating the adult poor. Many 
small schools have been established by persons wholljr 

• Enter here the particular day of a particular week, ia four 
certain months of the year, so as to have the meeting last pre* 
ceding the annual meeting of the society, ^ week or more before 
it is to take place, that the secretaries to the society ma^ have 
time to make out their general report before such meeting shall 



unacquainted with any Byisteroatic plan of proceedings 
until they have learned, . from experience, what rulea 
were requisite for the preservatiou of order and regu- 
larly, and for promoting the progress of the learners. 
Tet, where an extensive plan of proceeding may l)e en- 
tered upon, it will, unquestionably, in a great degree ik* 
cilitate the proceedings of those who take upon them the 
executive part of such Institutions, to have before them 
the digested rules of previously established societies^ 
which have resulted from their deliberations and exj^e- 
. rience. 

In few of the schools in Bristol, have they more thaa 
one conductor; but it may happen, in many instances, 
that one person cannot regularly attend, either from par- 
ticular engagements or bodily indisposition ; under this 
consideration, it is always best to have more than one 
appointed, that they may have it in their power to re- 
lieve each other, as circumstances shall require. 

I apprehend the schools at Ipswich are as well man- 
aged, if not better, than any others yet establidied ; I 
have, therefore, procured the rules for regulating the 
coqduct of the committee of the females* 8dio<4, as well 
as those for the government of the school itself ; these 
are equally suited for the regulation of schools for men. 
It will be seen that they are conducted upon Ae LaiK 
c^terian system* 


Hules of the Female Adult School at Ipswich^ in Suffolk. 

1. THAT three of the committee be appointed, id 
xolatioo, to attend during school-hours ; who will be 
requested to take a geoerai superioteodence of the 
school, aod give their attention particularly to the higher 

2. That if one of the superintendents be prevented 
attending, she shall signify the same in writing (address- « 
ed to the school,) in the forenoon of $)ie same day ; 
otherwise request one of the committee, or some one 
already approved by them, to attend in her place.f 

3. That each of the committee in attendance shall be 
sjlowed, after one month, to introduce one visiter each 
evening to the schooL;!^ 

4. That the committee continue in office one year, 
expiring the last day of October, when a new committee 
shall be formed ; but that any of the former committee 
be eligible to be re-elected. 

5. That a secretary be appoii^d, who shall also be 
annually chosen. 

6 That as it is of great importance the committee 
should be punctual in their attendance, a book shall be 
kept, in which those who attend shall be requested to 
insert their names, with the precise time of their entering 
the school. 

* The reason of this is that they have monitors to attend the 
lower classes. 

t Hie superintendents here mentioned are those who attend 
the ENreoiag-gchool, which is a distinct establishment ; so thai 
Botiee sent to the Day-school, gives the mistress time to procure 
another person to supply the place of the absentee at the Even- 

} One month after the commencemet of the school, to give ^ 
time for it to be properly organized and regulated, before any 
visiters be admitted ; and by this nik the number of visiters ^ 

7. That a mecffiog of the committee shall at any time 
be convenefl, at the request of Uiree of its memtiers; de- 
livered in writing to the secretary. 

8. That the committee be requested to attend in the- 
foUowiog order.^ 

Order of the SchaoL 

Upon the scholars entering the room, the^r are to take 
their places at the class-stations. At fiye minuies past 
six,t the monitor-general says, " Form cireles.'*^ Th« 
monitors take down pointers. '' Begin." AfteY reading 
three quarters oi an hour, they all cease.^ The monl^ 
tors hang up pointers, and the classes fatt back. The 
i)»ouitor«general then says, ^^ iiook, go." All then take 
their seats, and the bell rings to command attentico 
(when all should have their hands beside them ;) die 
order is then given, *' Recover slates. Deliver pencils.'^ 
This donie, the word they are to write is dictated from 
the head of the school ;§ and the monitors of tiie wri« 
ting-classes set copies to such as cannot join letters. 
When the slates are all fuU, ^^ Shew slates : monitors, 
examine." The bell rings, and the monitors return te^ 
their seats ; after which, '' Lay down slates : clean 
slates." The bell rings, and hands are put down : word9 
are then dictated as before. At three quarters past 

* To iMh rule i«i subj<nned a list of eighteen persons, eompo- 
ung the committee ; Uiese are formed into six ^visioes, eacl^ 
containing three persons, connected by a bmce, uppofite ta 
which is written the day and month on whieh they are sev* 
erally expected to attend the schools 
, t Six o'clock in the evening 'm the hour •|)poiiiteA for meet* 

% At the ringing of the beU, 
^ By the momtor-geasraU 


sevea, after " Clean slat^ls — ^return* slatesf in^^J (when 
liaods are immediately put down ;) the bell is rung to 
command stillness. The monitor-general then reads a 
portion, of Scripture ; after wbich^ *' Look, go." When 
they all go out of the school, one by one. That is, the 
whole school stand up ; those at the upper desk go first, 
the next follow, and so in the same order, until ail leave 
tlie school. 

In the men's school^ two respectable persons as visi- 
ters, are expected to be at all times present during the 
hours of school, to preside as masters ; but not person- 
ally to take the command of the scholars, they are to 
give their advice privately ; rebuking or encouraging 
the monitors, and io a suitable manner reasoning with 
such learners as may appear refractory, or disobeying 
the directions of those placed over tiiem. 

A monitor of order§ is appointed, whose employment 
it is to give the word, of command, and keep order in 
the school. 

A reading monitor is appointed to every six or seren 
scholars as most eligible ; and a writing monitor to er« 
evj class consisting of ten o^ fourteen pupils. 

MY friend, H. Alexander, wlio favoured me with 
the acconnt of the schools at Ipswich, and who has been 
the principal instrument in establishing and conducting 
them, further observes, what may afford some useful 
hints to others alike benevolently engaged in the same 
cause. " The scholai's conform in all respects to the 

* Their hands are then placed on the two upper coniera of the 

t The elates are then placed behind the desk, just at the en- 
trance of the aperture to receive them. 

I The slates are then pushed into the aperture under the desW^ 

^ Same 9s monitor-genaral ux the female school • 


discipline of the school, which is very strict : they are 
not allowed to speak on any occasion, and the females 
(superiotendents and teachers) only in a whisper ; if 
the slightest interruption takes place, tlie whole proceed- 
ings of the school are stopped, and no one suflfered to 
go on till the most perfect quietness is obtained. In 
giving commands, the same strictness is observed, no 
order being given till the former one has been correctly 
performed. To persons unacquainted with the system, 
these things might wear the appearance of harshness ; 
but every one complies with the greatest cheerfulness. 

" When the school began, we had but forty-nine 
learners ; it is now increased to seventy-four^ which is 
fourteen more than the number we proposed to admit 
This is a proof that they are not dissatisfied ; indeed, 
one and all express their approbation. We took care, ' 
as we went on, to explain the utility and necessity of 
(every order, and our intention of maintaining the strict- 
est discipline ; which, however, must be tempered inth 
great kindness. If this has an effect upon children, it 
will have a more impoilant one upon persons of ad- 
vanced age." 

The schools in Bristol, and its neighbourhood, have 
generally been held in places which will not admit of 
that most desirable arrangement and order above de- 
scribed ; the greater number are kept in the dwellings 
of poor persons ; sometimes two rooms are occupied in 
one house, under the management of one conductor and 
a suitable number of teachers, quite in a rustic and 
honiely way. The learners are all seated on forms, and 
their teachers mixed amongst them ; indeed, we have 
found it very difficult to get the learners, especially 
persons far advanced in years, to stand for an hour in 
semiciixles round a card suspended upon a wall ; so 
much so, that we have thought it necessaiy to permit 
them to sit on forms at tlie desks, and the teachers to 
stand behind them, to point at tlie lessons. 

These observations may be necessaiy, in order to 
obviate the discouragement that might odierwise pr&> 


vent the establishment of these humble seminaries, which 
have been productive of the most beneficial effects. It 
is gratifying to see the disposition in the poor to crowd 
into those confined apartments, and submit to all the in- 
convenieaces of heat in summer, and currents of cold 
air in the winter, rushing into the rooms of shattered 
houses, to obtain the blessing of the educatioD afforded 
by these institutions. Where properly constructed 
school-rooms can be obtained, it will unquestionably be 
attended with many and great advantages to have the 
schools regularly organized upon the Lancasterian sys- 
tem, for collective teaching. 

' These schools should be for teaching the poor to 
read, for themselves, the sacred records ; leaving it to 
film, in whom *^ are hid all the treasures of wisdom 
and knowledge," to grant them a ray of celestial light, 
and give them a heart to understand what he may see 
reqiiSite for them to know. The great apostle of the 
Gentiles declared, *' God hath revealed tnem unto us 
by his Spirit ; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, 
the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the. 
things of a man, save the spirit of a man which is in him ? 
Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the 
Spirit of God." 

This dignified servant of Christ testifies, that " the 
grace of God that bringeth salvation, hath appeared to 
all men, teaching us, that denying ungodliness and 
worldly lusts, we should live righteously and godly in 
this present world ; looking for that blessed hope, and 
the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour 
Jesus Christ ; who gave himself for us that he might 
redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a 
peculiar people, zealous of good works." 

The same inspired writer further says, " But the 
righteousness which is of faith, speak eth on this wise : 
Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven ? 
(that is, to bring Christ down from above.) Or, who 
shall descend into the deep ? (that is, to bring Christ 
again from the dead.) But what saith it ? The word 


is nigh thee, even in ithy mouth, and in thy heart : tliat 
is the word of faith, which we preach." In tlie book 
of Moses it is also written, " For this commandment 
which I command thee this day, it is.iiot hidden from 
thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou 
shouldst say, Wlio shall go up for us to heaven, and 
bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it ? Neither 
is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldst say, Who shall 
go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may 
hear it, and do it ? But tlie word is very nigh unto 
thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayst 
do it." Our blessed Redeemer, in his address to the 
Father, uses these w ords : " I thank thee, O Father, 
Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast liid these 
things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed 
them unto babes. Even so. Father, for so it seemed 
good in thy sight" 

As the great object of these schools is to teach the 
poor to read the Bible, and thereby diffuse amongst 
them a knowledge of the important truths of Christianity 
contained in the holy Scriptures, it will unquestionably 
be of the highest consequence that we should adopt the 
most eligible mode of disseminating such knowledge ; 
this will be best done by the means calculated to lead 
their attention to, and fix on their minds, the most prom- 
inent points of the chapter they have just been reading 
in the schools ; and this they will naturally endeavour 
to do, when reading the sacred volume at home ; for 
which purpose, a practice has been adopted in, at least, 
one of the schools in Bristol, with remarkable success : 
tliat is, to question the learners upon the most remarka- 
ble points of history or precept contained in the chap- 
ter. The expectation of being thus questioned, will 
induce them to direct their attention to, and fix in their 
memories the several points upon which it is likely they 
will be interrogated. For the sake of illustiation, let 
us suppose that a certain Bible or Testament class has 
been reading the first chapter of the evangelist John : 
the first question that would naturally arise is — 


Q^ fn»t is memt by the Word, or vord of God ? 

A. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was 
iriih God, and &e Word was God. 

^ What was ia God ? 

A. In iiim was life ; and the life was the light of meo. 

Q,, Who was the man sect from God ? 

A. There was a man sent from God, whose name was 

Q. For what was John sent ? 

A. To bear witness of the light, that ail men tlirough 
him might believe, 

Q. Was John tlie light ? 

A. He was not that light; but was sent to bear wit- 
ness of that light. 

Q^ What was the advantage to those who received 
him who is called the li^it ? 

A. To them gave ^ power to become the sous of 

CI. How was Uie word of God made manifest to the 
world ? 

A. The Word was made flesh, aod dwelt amongst us. 

Ct* B7 whom came the law ? 

A. The law came by Moses. 

Q,. By whom came grace and tmth ? 

A. Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. 

Q. With what did John baptize ? 

A. With water. 

Sometimes they are questioned pxomi6cuous}y,.iD the 
following manner. 

Q. Who is Christ ? 

A. The Son of God, aod Saviour ctf sinners. 

Q,» What are the means of salvation in Christ ? 

A. By grace ye are saved, through faith. 

Q. Where, and how, did Christ die for sinners ? 

A. He was crucified on Mount Calvary,, near Jeru-^ 

Q^ Who were crucified with him ? 

A. Two thieves f one on his right band, ib» other em 
his left. 



Q^ What particular cfrcumstances attended the cru- 
cifixioo and death of Christ ? 

A. Darkness covered the earth for the space of three 
hours. The veil of the temple iras rent An earth- 
ii|uake shook the earth. The rocks were rent. The 
graves were opened, and manj bodies of the saints 
wiiich were dead, arose* 

Q^ Where was the body of Christ laid ? ■ 

A. In a sepulchre. 

Ct. How long did he continue to tie in the sepul- 
chre ? 

A. He arose on the third day after his burial. . 

Q^ Where did Jesus attend a marriage feast ? 

A. In Caua of Galilee. 

Q. .What miracle did he perform on that occasion ? 

A. He turned water into wine. 

Q,. Where was Christ born J|, 

A. At Bethlehem, in Judea. 

Q^ Who was miraculously fed by ravens ? 

A. The prophet Elijah. 
. In recommending this mode of questioning the scholars, 
I will give the sentiments of one of our roost experienced 
conductresses, nearly in her own words : *' I fully be- 
lieve, that if the plan of questioning the learners on 
scripture, were generally adopted, it would be instruc- 
tive to both them and the teachers. I can say, from 
my own experience, that selecting a few questions,, and 
hearing the answers, has impressed the subjects more on 
my mind than reading a chapter three or four times 
over ; and I can truly say, that I never experienced so 
much delight in reading the Scriptures, as since I have 
adopted this practice, and been in the habit of compar- 
ing parallel passages." 


Register Book^FoUo, 

I shall here give a form of the Begister, which I think 
best calculated to answer the purposes intended : there 
will be no occasion for saying much, by way of explan- 
ation, as it will almost explain itselt It is a record ne- 
cessary to be kept, to give a clear and comprehensive 
view of the progress, A'c. of the learners from their en- 
tering the school to theii* dismissal. The learners have 
their number in the first column, according to the order 
in which they have been received into the school ; in the 
second column are their ages; in the third their names ; 
next, their several places of residence ; then the class 
to which they are first appointed, by placing the time of 
each leamer^s entrance in the column allotted for that 
class ; all the successive dates in that line, shew the days 
on which any one was advanced to a higher class, firom 
that to one still higher, and so on to the highest, which 
is the Bible-class ; all of which relate to his learning to 
read. The Writing-classes then follow, commencing 
with the alphabet, or making the small letters : the date 
of his commencement being placed under the head Al- 
phabet, shews the time he began learning to write ; and 
the following dates in the same line, shew the time of 
^is being advanced from the alphabet to joining-hand, 
and then to the forming of capital letters. The next 
column is for entering the cause of his dismissal ; and 
the last, the time of his leaving the school.^ 

* In these confined columns, as well as those in the clajis-pa- 
pers, it will be found far more convenient to use the numerical 
names of the months — as, 1, S, for first month, second ; instead 
of Jan. 2nd ; for the reason that figures occupy much less space 
than words. 



Class-papers are used in adult and other schools for 
recording iu a concise manner the atiendaace (^ the 
scholars, &c. The first column contains the number ;- 
second, the time of entrance ; third, the name ; fourth^ 
the residence of the scholar, corresponding with the 
Register-book before mentioned ; uext are twenty-six,, 
columns for twenty-six weeks, including a period of six 
months.^ In the head of each column is to be writtea 
the month, and day of the month of each meeting of the 
school. Ib this paper, the first four columns have print- 
ed heads, which explain their use. Before the printed 
word class, is to be written the number of the claims, as 
1st, 2nd, or 3d, Sic. Between the printed words, class 
and division, is to be written the number of the division 
of the class, as 1st, 2nd, or 3d, &c« there being several 
divisions of the same class, in proportion to the number 
of scholars in the school in the same stage of learning ; 
for more than six or eight sliould never be put into one 
division ; so that if there are thirty in the school in the 
same stage of learning, they will of course form four or . 
five divisions of the same class. In the upper margin . 
of the *class-paper is written the name of the teacher 
(before the printed word teacher) appointed to that par- 
ticular division of a class.f In the several small col- 
umns under the respective dates, a record of the at- 
tendance of the scholars is to be kept : the letter P. de- 
notes that the scholar was present ; the letter A, his ab- 
sence ; the letter L. that he was present, but came in 
' late* When any one, whose name is in the class-paper. 

* If tbe dchool is held oftener than once in the week, the class- 
{)aper will, of course, want renewing at shorter periods. 

i The word ** Class" is used in two different senses in the 
schools— It means either all those in one stage of learning ; or 
the six or eight persons under the instruction of one person, 
more properly a division of a class. 


shall be removed to a higher class, it is to be mentioned 
opposite his name, close to the last entered letter, which 
will shew the time of such removal ; and from this pa- 
per his removal is carried into the register-boot. 

The class-papers, by a very small alteration, may be 
made to answer the purpose of keeping an account of 
the scholars writing, as well as reading ; for this pur- 
pose, take the last eight columns and divide them by 
three black perpendicular Hues into three equal columns, 
then write over the first, the word alphabet ; over the 
second, joining-hand ; and over the third, capitals ; in 
the same manner as in the register^book. On the same 
Hne with the learner*s name, enter the month, day of 
tiie month, and year when he commenced writing ; if he 
commences with making the letters of the alphabet, 
place tile date undev the head Alphabet ; and when he 
is advanced to joining-hand, enter the time of his adr 
rancement under the head Joining'-hand ; and when ad- 
vanced to capitals, in like manner under the head Capi- 
tals. These several dates are to be carried from the 
class-papers into the register-book, which is to show^the 
p^gress of eveiy learner. By this alteration in the 
class-papers, they will last only four, instead of six 
months ; but we consider this mode better than keeping 
the account of writing on the back of these papers, as 
has been generally done ; the former method requiring 
a troublesome ruling, and an extra quantity of writing. ^ 

The teachers are required to deliver within the first 
hour of the school, all the class-papers to the conductor, 
with all the necessary entries for the day, as before de- 
scribed, in order that the entries may be carried into 
the remark-book. 


Absentee Bcok — Quarto. 

This is a book kept by the conductor for enteriiig aOu 
account of Tisits paid by the conductor or teachers to 
the learners, after absenting themselyes from the school 
two weeks in succession ; it is divided into four columns : 
the first for the date of the visits ; next, the name of the 
person visited ; the ttnrd, for the cause of absence , last- 
ly, the name of the visiter. This seems particularly 
necessary, to prevent the learners relaxing in their at- 
tendance. The reports are given in writing to the con- 
ductor, whose business it is to enter the cause of absence 
in this book, in the following week. These visits are to 
be repeated until it is ascertained whether the learners 
visited are to be continued as such on the books, or 
merit dismissal from the same. 

Remark Book^-Fdh. 

In this book is entered, every school-day, the name of 
the conductor who shall attend, the portion of Scripture 
read at the opening and close of the school, a summary 
account of the attendance of the teachers and learners, 
the admission of new learners, the number presented for 
removal to higher classes, and any other remarks that 
may appear needful. One page is allotted for each 
school-day. That the method of keeping this book 
may be more clearly understood, I shall give a form of 
one page, to shew the manner of making the several en- 





25 [ 



13 2 14 

24 1 13 

14 2 13 

7 3 14 

27 6 13 


t Lessoa, o| 
^<^Octx)ber,)iipoo 1813, as under 



|io book, tb 

Sacred Scriptures, 

2ndMoM, 13th, 1814. 

The school commenced with reaciiog the 1 7th chapter 
of Matthew ; concluded with the 21 st and 25th Psaims. 

Teacher. Class. Division. 






Thos. Cove, - 1 Class 1 Div. 
John Ross, - - 1 Class 2 Div. 
Sam. Morris, - 1 Class 3 Div. 
Rich. Seaman, 1 Class 4 Div. 
John Cross, - 2 Class 1 Div. 
Steph. How, - 2 Class 2 Div. 
Wm. Searl, - - 3 Class 1 Div. 
Tho. Wheeler, 4 Class 2 Div. 
Bob. Parsons, 5 Class 1 Div. 
Rich. Small, - 6 Class 1 Div. 
Sam. Roberts, 7 Class 1 Div. 


















Total admitted, 81 

Total dismissed, 14 

Number admitted this day, 5 

The four persons admitted last week were classed f^ 
seven presented for removal from 1st to 2Dd class ; three 
fix)m 2nd to 3d class ; and five from 4th to 5th class. 

Explanation of the initials over the columns : — ^P. teachers 
present ; A. teachers absent; L. P. learners present; L. A. 
learners absent ; N. in C. nuinber in the classes. 

* Those admitted are allotted by the conductors to their 6ev- 
eral classes, or several divisions of the classes, according to the 
stage of learning they are in, and as vacancies admit of, in the 
courae of the week, against the next school-day. 




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